Featured Coffee: Nicaragua Finca Regalo de Dios Plantio El Aserradero

Luis Alberto Balladarez Moncada - Regalo de Dios

Regalo De Dios - source pdf

Location: the Mozonte region east of Ocotal, Central America
Predominant Varietals: Red Catuai and Caturra varieties.
Species: Arabica
Elevation: 1,675 masl
Climate: Natural cloud forest
Processing method: “Luis Alberto has been investing in improvements to the wet mill since he acquired the property. It uses very little water. A Pinhalense density sorter separates the cherry prior to depulping, and the little water used in this process is recycled. The coffee is pulped and in most cases traditionally fermented. The coffee is fermented without the addition of any water, as the cold mountain water slows down fermentation. In this way the coffee can be fully fermented in only 8 hours. Luis Alberto says that he tends to rinse the coffee with the slightest bit of mucilage left in order to add extra sweetness. He has done some experimentation with resting the coffee for a few hours in the cherry prior to pulping and has found that it increases sweetness.” – From the pdf NICARAGUA TRIP REPORT: JAN 28-FEB 2, 2011

Map-of-Mozonte

Map of Mozonte

From Atlas Coffee Importers:

The word plantio in Nicaragua refers to a specific small area of a farm, similar to tablon or partida in other parts of Central America. The name Un Regalo de Díos translates literally to “A Gift From God,” and it’s easy to see how owner Luis Alberto Balladarez came up with the name. Finca Un Regalo de Díos is situated in a lush mountain bowl near the town of Mozonte, at an elevation ranging from 1,350 to 1,800 masl. Of the approximately 450 hectares encompassed by the farm, around 90 hectares are devoted to coffee, and the various plantios are primarily comprised of Red Catuai and Caturra varieties.

This year’s lot from Aserradero was arguably the best of the three plantios we received from Finca Un Regalo de Díos. Aserradero is located at the highest elevation of the farm, averaging 1,500 masl, where the natural cloud forest above the farm begins. Fruit flavors take much more control of this cup than in the other plantios, with pear, red berry and sugar cane dominating the top end. Cola and chocolate sweetness rounds out the bottom, and a pleasant tannic snap wraps up the finish. All in all one of the most exciting, complete Nicaragua coffees we’ve experienced. It was the Aserradero coffee which took 3rd Place in the 2010 Cup of Excellence® competition, and we’re honored to include it among our offerings.

Photo by Erick Martin Ortiz

From Atlas Coffee’s NICARAGUA TRIP REPORT: JAN 28-FEB 2, 2011:

Luis Alberto’s two farms are in the Mozonte region to the east of Ocotal. This region has a much different climate than Dipilto. It is mostly dry mountain pine forests reminiscent of Southern Oregon or Northern California. Luis Alberto stated that, while this area has the potential to produce great coffee, people have been slow to purchase and cultivate land here for that purpose because the lack of paved roads make it less accessible.

La Esperanza and Un Regalo border one another and are located on either side of the valley in which Luis Alberto’s wet mill stands. The land is strikingly beautiful and it just seems like good things would grow here. In the 2010 CoE Un Regalo took 3rd place and La Esperanza took 19th. The surprising thing is that he has only owned these farms for two years. Un Regalo bordered last year’s #1 CoE winning farm El Esfuerzo. However, Luis Alberto has since purchased the property, annexed it into Un Regalo, and he now calls the area El Ganador. Un Regalo has 40 manzanas under cultivation and La Esperanza has 22, each producing an average of 30 quintales per manzana. Both farms range from 1400-1800 masl. The farms are mostly planted with caturra and catuai, but he has smaller plots of java, geisha, maracaturra, and a sarchimor hybrid. Luis Alberto has been investing in improvements to the wet mill since he acquired the property. It uses very little water. A Pinhalense density sorter separates the cherry prior to depulping, and the little water used in this process is recycled. The coffee is pulped and in most cases traditionally fermented. The coffee is fermented without the addition of any water, as the cold mountain water slows down fermentation. In this way the coffee can be fully fermented in only 8 hours. Luis Alberto says that he tends to rinse the coffee with the slightest bit of mucilage left in order to add extra sweetness. He has done some experimentation with resting the coffee for a few hours in the cherry prior to pulping and has found that it increases sweetness.

Regalo de Dios

Regalo de Dios - source pdf

About Scot Casey

Owner/ Poetic Terrorist / Barista / Graphic Designer at The Black Drop Coffee House. Also, Hermit / Recluse in Residence at Laughing Bone Design Labs
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