Dipilto is a premier coffee growing region, with diverse microclimates and good altitude, optimal conditions for producing specialty coffees. Finca La Laguna is operated by producer Luis Emilio Valladarez, who also operates Finca Buenos Aires another coffee we purchased this year (the first pic is La Laguna). Finca La Laguna came under his direction and ownership about 4 years ago now, thriving from his expertise and leadership. The farm is situated at 1100 - 1350 meters, and planted entirely in Caturra. Natural shade trees abound, the coffee is protected from warm afternoon sun. This is a naturally processed lot, a first for us from this group. Drying conditions are good in Ocotal, where the mill is located, and so drying whole coffee cherry makes sense, taking roughly 4 weeks to complete before moving to the hulling machinery. This long dry time inside the whole cherry adds an unmistakeable fruitiness to the cup - which if you've never tried, you absolutely should - not to mention hefty body, and muted acidity. The coffee is followed by Valladarez from cherry to hulled beans, with much care put into sorting out any potential defects. The farm acquired Rainforest Alliance Certification a few years back, and the washed coffee won first prize at the 2012 RFA Nicaragua coffee competition.
For Nicaragua, this one's a wild ride. Being dried in whole cherry imparts quite a fruitiness, which plays off the classic nut and raw sugar tones of Nicaraguan coffee quite well. The ground coffee has a smell of walnut bread with dried cherry, sweet peanut butter, and dehydrated berries come into play in roasts near Full City. Aromatically speaking, middle roasts boast smells of baked goods, like strawberry almond scone. The cup sticks close to the aromatic profile, City+ roasts offering nut-to-berry flavors that bring to mind a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Body is big, and acidity low, and bittering cacao nib notes accent the long aftertaste. This is definitely a must try for fans of dry processed Latin American coffees, with more than it's fair share of pleasing fresh and dry fruit flavors, and savory nut tones. We blended 2 parts of this dry process with 3 parts of a washed Nicaragua Buenos Aires Los Pinos with favorable results. It was a nice brewed cup, subtler fruited tones, and layers of raw sugars and savory notes, but espresso is where it excelled: big red fruit flavors up front, fading to an intensely bittersweet chocolate finish. Cup is nice at 12 hours rest post roast, but shows best resting closer to 2 full days.