Calixto lot, Finca La Argentina, San Fernando, honey-process
Honeycomb, green apple, raisin
Finca La Argentina is situated in the mountains of San Fernando municipality, and is a farm that had defied some difficulties that the Nicaraguan coffee industry has faced in the last 20 years, particularly in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch in 1999, and in major droughts in the years that followed.
The farm is owned by the Peralta family, and Julio Peralta has a long-term view - which comes with the farm being in the family since 1920. Together with 40 employees who work at the farm (they are supplemented by another 150 seasonal workers at harvest time), he has subdivided the farm's coffee growing areas into various plots, and harvests at specific times, based on the sugar content of the cherries, and the process they employ. He doesn't think he's someone special, but his careful planning and forward-thinking has helped this farm become a bit special. This Caturra lot was harvested on the 2nd February from the Calixto plot, and then was processed using the yellow-honey process. This is where some of the fruity layer (the mucilage) is left on the beans as they dry - they get sticky as they do so, hence the name. It's a half-way house between fully washed processing and natural processing.
The result of the attention to detail and the careful care is a cup bursting with flavour - the honey-process gives a long, sweet honeycomb taste, with a blast of green apple acidity, maybe a hint of mango too, and then a raisin and a dried fruit finish. It works great in espresso, and in filter, and the sweetness goes on and on.