Roasting Profile : Espresso
Processing : Fully washed
Origin : Nicaragua
Region : Madriz / San Juan del Rio Coco
Cooperative: UCA San Juan del Rio Coco
Coffee grade: SHG EP
Weight: 250 g
Variety: Bourbon, Catuaí, Caturra, Maragogype
Altitude: from 900 to 1300m
Cupping score: 83
Note: HAZELNUT. APPLE. CHOCOLATE. CARAMEL
Covering five communities in the San Juan del Rio Coco region of northern Nicaragua, UCA SJRC helps farmers produce profitable and environmentally responsible coffee.
UCA SJRC is a union of 8 cooperatives in the region representing over 370 small producers. The 8 separate cooperatives in the region came together in 1993 to better help their members better control the quality of their coffee and access better prices. Both the region and the cooperative are named after the Rio Coco, a large river that runs through the region. As agrarian communities, Rio Coco remains a source of an essential element for survival: water.
The cherries are picked by hand and selectively. Since most farmers have small plots of land - on average, about 2.8 hectares - most of the work on the farm is done by family members. However, at peak harvest time, the family may hire a few extra hands to help pick the cherries when they are at their ripest.
After harvesting, farmers float the cherries to remove any thin or light that may have been picked by mistake and perform a visual inspection to remove any cherries showing insect damage or other visible defects. The cherries are then cleaned and fermented. About half of the SJRC UCA members have their own wet mill. These members can also earn extra income by renting out their mills to neighbours who do not have their own.
After fermentation, farmers and their families inspect the wet parchment a second time for any visual defects. As they inspect it, the wet parchment begins the first stages of drying.
The humid climate in coffee regions makes it difficult to dry parchment properly. Instead, farmers bring their wet parchment to the town of San Juan del Rio Coco, where UCA SJRC has its own drying and quality control facilities. When farmers deliver their wet parchment, higher prices give them an incentive to deliver clean, defect-free parchment with adequate moisture content.
The SJRC UCA plant performs final drying on a large terrace. Batches are tracked with labels detailing which sub-cooperative delivered the coffee. After drying, the dried parchment is placed in bags that identify the quality and source of the coffee and stored in the warehouse.
When the parchment is completely dry, the SJRC UCA quality team staples the batches. Because some defects, such as mold or phenol, may not be visible until the first cupping, the cooperative retains the right to reject any parchment it has purchased until cupping. In this way, the cooperative sells only the best quality batches. After a rest period, the quality team recovers the coffees and decides on the appropriate quality category for each coffee.
Strictly High Grown (SHG) specifies the altitude at which the coffee was grown. A coffee must be grown at 1,200 metres above sea level or higher to be considered SHG. Higher altitude and lower temperatures mean that coffee beans ripen more slowly, creating a denser bean.
EP stands for European Prep. EP beans are Screen 15+ with a low defect tolerance.