PRODUCER FRANCISCO VALLE
VARIETY catuai, catimor
ELEVATION 1825 masl
TASTE cherry, toffee, chocolate
RECOMMENDED BREW METHOD
La Ilusion garnered it’s name from the location of the farm. Up high on a mountain ridge that ranges between 1750 and 1900 meters above sea level, the highest in all of Nicaragua.
The farm’s seclusion wraps it in tranquility, with old growth primary forest stretching down the mountainsides and the clouds floating into the farm make for dream-like scenery.
Farming in such an isolated place asks everyone involved to make sacrifices. Many of the farm workers will stay on the farm for weeks or months at a time.
From the seclusion to the environmental challenges, it can’t be lost on any of us that it’s a high degree of difficulty to produce coffee in such a land.
That such a wonderful coffee bean comes from this challenging scenario, is a testament to everyone involved in the farm within the clouds, surrounded by such beautiful landscapes.
How difficult was this bean to dial in relative to most?
It took a lot of work to dial in the roast for this coffee. Normally this is a good sign that the coffee will work well with a range of roasts from light to medium.
We did a total of 12 test batches before arriving at the one that achieved the level of balance, complexity and refinement that lived up to what we felt was available in the raw material.
Were there any nuances to it that came up in the process?
This coffee really liked a fast roast with a lot of heat applied early in the roast.
The final roast profile hits first crack at around 6 minutes, which is half the time allotted to some other coffees we regularly roast.
Why did you choose this micro lot?
We knew from the pre-shipment sample that this coffee has 2 outstanding character traits: super clean – and very bright acidity.
This is an amazing coffee from Nicaragua, very well green and carefully process by the farmer…
Was there a difference of tasting notes in opinion between people involved in the cupping?
The brightness of this coffee is appealing to some people and off-putting to others.
We did strike a balance between acidity and body in the final roast profile which should make this coffee pretty versatile across brewing methods.
If you aren’t a fan of bright, acidic espresso, it may be best to stick with french press or pour-over for this one.
Why did you decide on the final tasting notes?
There is a fruit note in the beginning which reminded us of cherry, and it’s got a smooth and juicy texture to it.
In the middle taste comes a toffee, malted type of flavour, which also comes through in milk drinks like latte and cappuccino.
In the aftertaste, it’s a long lingering finish which is like chocolate-like and very pleasant.