El Progreso is the small farm in Dipilto region owned by Jose Noel Talavera, and has the distinction of winning first place in the Cup of Excellence back in 2006. At that time it scored over 91 points in the competition, winning a presidential award. The farm is a mere 3.5 hectares, planted in Caturra variety, and is situated at 1550 meters. Dipilto has a produced many top coffees over the years, with more farms at relatively higher altitudes and with better varieties of coffee planted there. They also tend to be small family farms, where more care can be afforded to the plants, provided the lots are sold as single farm coffees to roasters who will pay for and celebrate the coffees for their unique qualities. Nicaragua has several dominant multinational buyers who tend to drag down pricing, even in years where the local prices paid for fruit is higher due to international market conditions. Buying small farm direct lots acts as an offset to the mass of commercial coffee being produced, to some small degree.
This coffee has a classic Nicaragua cup character, with the dry fragrance showing hazelnut and praline in the lighter roast level, with a more bittersweet aspect emerging at Full City roast. The wet aromatics are beautiful, with clover honey notes, nougat, lactose, and a slight honeysuckle floral suggestion. The cup has that wonderful balance of a great Nicaragua coffee, with viscous and creamy body rounding out the flavor profile. Light roasts have a green apple-like acidity, malt and hazelnut roast taste, with a tea-like finish. Lemon blossom brightness emerges as the cup cools, making this a unique coffee in respect to other Dipilto lots. More roast helps develop the chocolate roast character, and the mouthfeel seems more creamy and complete. The brightness still provides dimension to the cup, pairing with tea notes to give a lemon snapple type flavor. The finish is clean and refreshing, with a bracing bittersweet quality. This is a great example of how the Caturra varietal expresses itselves in a high-grown Nicaragua coffee.