Santa Gema | Nueva Segovia, NicaraguaBluebeard Coffee Roasters
Flavor Notes: Melon, hazelnut, chocolate, citrus & apple.
Farmer: Mario Vilchez
Region: Mozonte, Nueva Segovia
Process & Variety: Washed Red Catuai
Altitude: 1420 - 1600 masl
Nicaragua Trip Notes:
This is the 5th and final coffee to be release from our April trip to Nueva Segovia, Nicaragua with Drew Billups of Atlas Coffee Importers.
Unlike our source visits with the Lovos and Balladarez families, Mario Vilchez is fairly new to coffee. Following a hurricane and massive water and wind damage to Santa Gema and neighboring coffee farms in Mozonte and Nicaragua in 1999, the previous owners reached out to a young Mario Vilchez and offered to sell their coffee farm to him. Although the price was favorable, he couldn't afford it. And yet the family sold the farm to him, knowing his drive and energy, if he would agree to pay them off in the future.
It turns out to be an absolutely ideally situated place to grow coffee high above Mozonte, Nueva Segovia. And slowly but surely, Mario Vilchez and his young family have worked for the past 20 years to build a fantastic little coffee farm, wet mill and drying operation that is testament to their hard work, strategic vision and continued reinvestment into creating a world class operation on a shoestring at Santa Gema.
The pictures tell much of the story. It's a beautiful property located roughly 1400 to 1600 meters above sea level, growing Catuai, Caturra, Maracaturra and Maragogipe varieties on 30 acres of steep jungly mountain terrain amid high stands of spindly pines and other shade trees.
At the base of the property is a wet mill and kitchen, where patchworks of concrete and structures show the year by year progression of the farms washing, sorting, de-pulping, drying (and feeding!) capabilities. And impressively, the family's backyard down in town is now one large drying patio.
We are huge fans of this coffee and these people and can't wait to work with them again.