GROWING ALTITUDE: 1380-1500m
VARIETALS: Caturra, Yellow Catuai, Red Catuai
HARVEST PERIOD: January-April
PROCESS: Natural, Washed, Honey
FLAVOUR: Citrus & Caramel
Q GRADE: 84
Santa Maria is one of seven estates that reach across Jinotega and Matagalpa and are owned by Victor Robelo as part of the Las Nubes group. Originally bought in the late nineties after the cessation of action by the Contras, the farms were planted with his fathers’ favourite varietals, Yellow Catuai and Caturra. The Santa Maria farm itself produces mainly Caturra, and under the managerial eye of Jimmy Mierisch is focused on producing high quality lots with new processing methods.
The coffee is picked and processed at the farms own wet mill, before being taken as wet parchment or cherry (depending on if it is a washed or natural coffee) to the dry mill facility in Matagalpa that Las Nubes bought in 2014. It is here that the drying beds are located, stacked three or four layers high to control temperature and humidity as required for the processing method. By owning their supply chain, they can tightly control the variables and therefore ensure that any experimentation is best positioned to be replicated.
Jinotega is the second largest department in Nicaragua, situated in the north of the country bordering Honduras. Matagalpa borders Jinotega to the south.