Finca El Carmen is located in the Jinotega growing region, and part of the same family who own and operate Fincas Buenos Aires and La Laguna. We cupped through a few small lots from the farm, this wet processed Maracaturra being one of our selections. Maracaturra, are a large bean variety of coffee, a cross between Caturra and the so-called "Elephant Bean", Maragogype. It seems to be grown mostly in Nicaragua although I have found nice examples in El Salvador too. El Carmen is a rather low farm compared to other origins we buy, with this lot coming from about 1200 meters. Maracturra can be tricky to roast due to the enormous bean size. If you have the ability to control heat on your roaster, try a "slow and low" approach, dragging out the beginning roast leg before 1st crack in order to produce roast consistency from the inside out. For those without heat control (a popcorn popper for example), take the roast to at least City+ based on the beans exterior which will ensure internal roast development is achieved and save you from the green/grassy notes that come from underdevelopment!
El Carmen has produced a crowd pleasing brewed cup in this large bean Maracaturra cultivar. City+ roast is a good starting point, a deep caramelizing sugar sweetness coming through in the dry grounds, along with a scent of honey and grain (sweet rolls come to mind), and subtle fruit accents. Adding hot water boosts the sweetness level, with a molasses hint coming up when breaking through the wetted crust. City+ to Full City roasts produce a fairly dense caramel sweetness, a flavor which fades to a tannic black tea quality in the longer aftertaste. Bran muffin, toffee nut, and brisk tea all come to mind as I work through the cup, and a subtle lemon peel zest bitterness marks the finish.