We were lucky enough that Roberto agreed to leave us around 200kg of this natural Pacamara lot. After that, he submitted the remaining 500kg to Cup of Excellence and went on to win 5th place!
Finca Rio Dorado
Rio Dorado is Roberto’s second farm, purchased specifically with the purpose to experiment and innovate in the Jalapa region. When he bought the farm six years ago, he renovated the entire plantation and planted only the high-quality Geisha, Pacamara and Pacas varieties. All plants come from the farm’s own nursery. This way, they can control the quality and strength of the plants from seedling on and apply best agricultural practices. Different techniques exist to let the baby plants develop strong root systems in the seedling bags. By experimenting with soil type, bag size and the time left in the nursery before planting, the young plants can develop a stronger root system. This translates into faster growth, better adaptation to the environment and better resistance to drought.
Cultivation and production at Rio Dorado always focuses on producing the finest qualities, but not at the cost of nature. The team knows well enough these go hand in hand! A healthy ecosystem contributes to delicious coffees. Rio Dorado takes various measures to respect the environment. The farm preserves the native trees, which provide shade for the coffee plants. The natural diversity of fauna and flora that comes with this helps to keep the soil healthy and prevent erosion. Treating and purifying the coffee processing wastewater prevents the contamination of the environment. Furthermore, they don’t use chemicals for farm management. They manage the farm through good agrictultural practices of manual weed control and mulching.
Harvest & Processing
At the time of harvesting, Roberto demands the same care which the farm receives year-round. Because the farm spans a wide altitude range from 1600 to 2000 meters above sea level, the harvest season is quite long. The first cherries at the lower part of the farm are usually ready for harvesting in January. The season extends into April for the plots at the highest altitudes. This is where some of the highest qualities are made! This natural Pacamara microlot was harvested in March and finished drying in April.
At Rio Dorado, strict quality control of the cherries and processing ensures the highest coffee quality. Only the fully matured cherries are used for the production of microlots. Especially for creating mindblowing natural coffees, this is crucial.
Dry milling large beans like a Pacamara is already a tough job when it’s a washed coffee. The job gets all the more complex when it’s a natural nanolot in such small volume! It really takes a lot of expertise to calibrate the hulling machines for the job. You can find a cherry part here and there that’s easily sorted out. In return, you will get a totally crazy coffee when you nail the roast on this challenging coffee!