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Finca Los Altiplanos
Comarca La Salvadora
1,100-1,280m above sea level
Known as the land of lakes and volcanoes within Central America, Nicaragua is a pocket for high quality coffee thanks to its rich soils and various microclimates. Coffee arrived in the 1800s with Spanish colonialists, first planted on the mesas of the Pacific plains. Today, coffee has spread to three main production areas: Las Segovias, Matagalpa, and Jinotega; characterized by fertile, volcanic soils and lush vegetation. Founded in the late 1930s by a Scotsman named Mr. Potter, Finca Los Altiplanos was soon sold later in the decade when he returned to Scotland, to the president at the time, Anastasio Somoza García. The land was confiscated by the Nicaraguan state in the 1980s and incorporated into the swathes of land dedicated to agrarian reform.
There are 25 permanent employees on the farm and 180 temporary employees who come during the harvest. Basic grains and bananas are planted throughout Finca Los Altiplanos to feed these workers and provide them with a form of nourishment. When the coffee cherries are ripe, they are selectively hand-picked and transported to the wet mill in plastic boxes to prevent damage. Here, the coffee is fermented for anywhere between 15-40 hours, allowing for the delicate breakdown and development of the exterior fruit. Once this step is complete, the cherries are transported to the Sajonia Estate dry mill via truck about 62 kilometers away, to be spread evenly on raised beds and dried in the open sun for 8 hours. After drying in the sun, the cherries are then moved to shaded tunnels to complete drying for 28-30 days. As soon as the ideal moisture content is reached, the cherries are hulled and prepared for export.