Producer: Reynaldo Mairena
Farm: Finca Monterrey
Elevation: 1200 masl
Variety: Red Catuai
Process: Natural Process, Sun-Dried on Concrete Patio
Notes: Cherry Amaretto, Tobacco, Sweet Pineapple Jam, Chocolate Frosting.
Weight: 250 Grams
Nicaragua is a beautiful country. So much history is enveloped in its colonial cities, cascading volcanic landscape and hospitable people. Coffee production, like many Central American countries, has long been an economic and ancestral tradition in this country with farms being passed down from generation to generation. In recent memory, the country has suffered tremendously from revolution, civil war and poverty. You can see the resiliency in the eyes of its people: hard work and struggle give way to welcoming warmness in an instant. The land is rugged, and often times, the coffee represents that wildness: untamed and unpredictable, earthy, bright and sweet. Coffee from Matagalpa, where you will find Finca Monterrey high up on Mt Aranjuez, tends to be overlooked in the Specialty Coffee world. However, a small, progressive company is working hard with producers in this growing region to not only push the standards of quality, but also to connect roasters to this community of producers and see strong relationships develop.
AdIx Coffee is a husband and wife team steeped in the coffee producing culture of Matagalpa, Nicaragua. Ixil Borter Torres is the 4th generation of coffee professionals in Nicaragua. She grew up working on her families farm, learning processing methods and even working at a coffee mill and export company for a number of years. After working around the world, she and her husband, Adrian, moved back to Matagalpa and begin working on a vision for a coffee company that Ixil has been developing for a number of years. In Nicaragua, as in all coffee producing countries, tremendous value is placed on trust and accountability, relationship and hospitality. AdIx coffee is all about developing connections between roasters and producers, ensuring economic development and quality. This is how Tanager was introduced to Reynaldo and his farm, Monterrey.
Reynaldo Mairena is a passionate coffee producer, dedicated to his farm high in the Aranjuez between the towns of Matagalpa and Jinotega. He is an environmentalist and coffee lover, determined to employ sustainable means of production while continually re-investing and upgrading his farm to deliver a consistently higher quality coffee. Always motivated by his love of producing coffee, Reynaldo energetically will tell you of all of his plans for the future of his farm and coffee in Nicaragua. He is a local leader in the coffee community and is therefore a highly respected man in this region.
As a rule, Reynaldo is very attentive to each detail of his farm and has separated all of the different cultivars into lots. This lot is 100% Red Catuai, a hardy and sweet variety of coffee very popular in Central America for its resistance to disease and harsh conditions. Each cherry was picked at the peak of ripeness and brought to SolCafe, a mill close to the farm. Reynaldo and AdIx knew that they wanted to present a unique flavor profile with this offering and they decided to employ a very non-traditional, in Nicaragua at least, processing method with this coffee. In fact, to my knowledge, with last years harvest, Finca Monterrey was the first farm to ever request natural processing at SolCafe which is a very large facility indeed. Naturally processed coffee is coffee that is allowed to ferment and dry inside of its fruit. The skin of the coffee fruit is allowed to dry and after several days or weeks and then, determined by moisture levels inside the seed (what we call the bean), the coffee is hulled, revealing the green coffee ready to be roasted. Naturally processed coffees tend to have intense fruitiness and sweetness coupled with a heavier body than most fully washed coffees. Almost all coffee coming out of Nicaragua is fully washed, especially in Matagalpa, meaning that the fruit of the coffee cherry is removed as soon as possible at the mill, which means this is a rare opportunity.
This year, late winter 2016, I had the opportunity to visit Matagalpa to visit Ixil and Reynaldo on his farm. It was a great opportunity to not only see the quality of Reynaldo’s operation, but to also continue developing our relationship with these folks.
**All images are used Copyright of AdIx Coffee and are used by permission.