This nanolot is amongst the winners of the 2018 Cup of Excellence in Nicaragua. In fact, it obtained the second place overall with a cup score of 90.42, beating almost all the 35 winning lots selected for the final round and being included amongst the Presidential Cafés (top five overall).
More than that, this lot is nothing less than unique. It is in fact an hybrid F1 varietal, called the Centroamericano. It was obtained by crossing two genetically distant Arabicas, namely the Rume Sudan native of Ethiopia and the hybrid of Sarchimor, and using only plants born directly from the crossing (first generation offsprings), hence the name F1. It is an exceptional coffee given that 2017 it won the Cup of Excellence again, finishing third and making sensation because a hybrid had reached such a high score. Previously it won again other two times, reaching the top twenty in both cases.
While this hybridization approach is quite common for other species (for example most maize hybrids are obtained in this way), it is an innovative and promising technique for coffee.
When we saw for the first time this exceptional quality nanolot, therefore, we could not hold back and we had to try it!
The nanolot was grown in La Tablazon, Dipilto, Nueva Segovia area in the plantation called La Promesas de San Blas by Gonzalo Adan Castillo who worked for over 20 years as general manager of a major coffee exported in Nicaragua. In 2010 he had the opportunity to buy a plantation located between 1200 and 1300m asl, completely in ruins at that time. Since then it has been planted with innovative cultivars only. The whole plantation is under shades, meaning the coffee is planted under taller trees (cedars, mahogany, walnuts, ingas and others) that keep it in the shade.
This nanolot was obtained with a honey process. From cherries, harvested by hand when they reach a perfect level of ripeness, the skin and most of the mucilage are removed firstly, leaving only a small layer of mucillage attached to the beans. These are then dried under the sun arranged in a thin layer over raised beds. The beans are turned several times a day to avoid unwanted fermentations and covered during the hottest hours of the day and night, until the humidity level goes down to the desired level. Watch the video at the end of this page, where Gonzalo Adan Castillo talks of his farm, his particular fermentation approach and the success he obtained so far with his coffees.
The Cup of Excellence judges have described the aromatic profile of this coffee as characterized by notes of rose, honey, jasmine, peach, pear, malt, white grapes, green apple, caramel, brownie, melon. The acidity was described as complex, citric, similar to orange. The aftertaste was persistent, honeyed and rich. We have found many of these notes in this coffe, particularly the fruity ones, and the pleasant acidity and sweetness.