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Climpson and Sons - Single Origin: Samaria, Nicaragua

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A Red Honey processed (cherries are pulped leaving all of the mucilage intact) microlot. Plums, watermelon, lychee and red apple

The Nicaraguan Coffee Industry

The coffee industry in Nicaragua has undergone periods of turmoil that have hindered the development of the speciality sector in the country. Many experienced coffee farmers fled during the years under Sandinista rule of the late 1970s to the 1990s. When the political scene changed, those farmers returned and not long after, Nicaragua started to produce some very good coffee. However, the devastating effects of Hurricane Mitch and the prolonged world coffee price crisis created further giant-sized hurdles for a country that can, and now does, produce some very desirable coffees indeed.

Key growing regions include the mountainous regions of Matagalpa and Jinotega though it is Nueva Segovia that is heralded as Nicaragua’s premier growing region, particularly the Cordillera de Dipilto - Jalapa - a mountainous region which runs along the Honduran border. Time after time it is this region which produces Cup of Excellence winning lots, for the farms here are blessed with high altitude and excellent climatic conditions. The close proximity of the mills also proves to be highly advantageous in terms of quality protection.


The municipality of San Fernando is located around 24 kilometres from the region’s capital ‘Ocotal’ and of the 10,000 residents; the vast majority are coffee farmers. This beautiful area is home to ‘Samaria’. Situated in the Nueva Segovia region amongst the Comarca Las Camelias community at altitudes ranging from 1320 to 1450 metres above sea level, Samaria embodies a diverse range of luscious vegetation and wildlife brought about by high levels of annual rainfall. Samaria has a total area of nearly 85 hectares which consists of natural mountainous forest. Of the 85 hectares of available arable land, 40 have been set aside for the sole purpose of maintaining and improving the natural habitat. The climate at Samaria is much more humid which means the coffee trees are more sparsely planted to ensure everything is properly aerated. The varietals found here include Caturra and Catuai.

The Micro Lot Project

Julio Peralta, envisages a sustainable future for Nicaraguan coffee through the export and promotion of individual micro lots. Julio (a farmer who heads up the speciality grower and roaster ‘Peralta Coffees’) has encouraged family members and fellow farmers to explore new ways of growing coffee and firmly believes his country possesses the complex conditions and technical facilities needed to create extraordinary flavours in the cup. As a result of this dedicated approach, there are now several of his family farms working to produce distinct characteristics by marketing individual lots as opposed to bulking everything together for export. Several of the farms involved in this practice have been award winning at the Cup of Excellence competitions in recent years.

Through the process of producing micro lots, Julio hopes to obtain information which will enable him and fellow farmers to make decisions as to which varieties and which processes work best in each farm and plot. As a company, we are keen to encourage the Peralta’s to implement creative thinking into their coffee production in order to add value and quality to the crops grown there. The results achieved last year were truly outstanding and with the on-going threat of ‘roya’ and a volatile world market, this venture will hopefully contribute towards safeguarding coffee farmers in Nicaragua for the long-term.

How to decide on a micro lot

To decide which plots are to be harvested as micro lots, a brix refractometer is used to measure the sugar content of the cherries across different areas in each farm - this should ideally be around 22 per cent. Once this has taken place, ripe cherries are picked according to the process they will undergo (natural, red honey, yellow honey etc). Then a water siphon is used to select the best quality cherries and separate defect fruits. If the lot is to be a red honey, cherries are pulped leaving all of the mucilage intact.

For each micro lot selected, the entire drying process takes place in the newly built parabolic dryer at the San Ignacio mill in the municipality of Mozonte in the region of Nueva Segovia. The quality control at San Ignacio is second to none having benefited from visits by Falcon’s milling expert Jeremy Wakeford, who has made a number of improvements to bring about greater consistency and a better overall cup profile.

Such dedication to processing has resulted in the creation of some incredible flavour profiles which produce a cup that is consistently clean.
Altitude: 1343 masl
Farm/Coop: Samaria
Great for: Aeropress, Cafetiere, Espresso, Filter, With milk
Origin: Central America/Nicaragua - Region: San Fernando, Nueva Segovia
Process Method: Pulped Natural (semi-washed) - Red Honey (cherries are pulped leaving all of the mucilage intact)
Tasting Notes: plums, watermelon, lychee and red apple
Varietals: Catuai

Roasterr: Climpson and Sons

Climpson and Sons does not deliver to United Kingdom

Initial collection: Climpson & Sons - London

Tasting record

Method Dose Grind Time Volume Comments
e.g. Espresso 18g Vario 1E 25secs 30ml A bit finer next time would be better.