Nicaragua Flor Azul Limited Release
- June 2019
- Written by : Michael Sheridan
Director of Sourcing and Shared Value / Coffee Buyer
Our 16th year of collaboration with the Canales family at its Los Delirios farm produced this Pacamara lot.
Coffee quality depends on what farmers grow, where they grow it, and how they grow it.
In Nicaragua, we have been working for more than 15 years with the Canales family, which has been widely celebrated for the where and the how of its work — it grows coffee organically, in the shade of pristine forest groves, and has invested mightily in post-harvest processing upgrades as part of its continuous quality improvement efforts. More recently, it has turned its prodigious energies to the what, producing cultivars not commonly grown in Nicaragua, including this Pacamara varietal lot.
WHERE + HOW
For decades, the Canales family has been turning today’s success into tomorrow’s through a virtuous cycle of reinvestment in coffee. Season after season over the course of three generations, the family has used the profits from its coffee sales to expand its operations. In many cases, this has involved the purchase of pasture around the edges of its coffee farm, which it converts to organic coffee forests through a patient process that takes the better part of 10 years. They do this exceedingly well, regenerating degraded landscapes without compromising on quality: Daniel Canales earned top honors at Nicaragua’s 2004 Cup of Excellence competition with the first lot of certified organic coffee ever to take the CoE’s top spot. Milton, Norman, and Donal, the three sons to whom Daniel has entrusted the future of Los Delirios, have registered more CoE wins for the family. Today they operate a vast complex of farms, wet mills, drying facilities, and a dry mill, focusing on quality in every step of the process.
For decades, the Canales family has stubbornly refused to make the transition to high-yielding hybrids that are resistant to diseases like coffee leaf rust, sticking with the traditional varieties in the Bourbon and Typica lineages that are celebrated for the quality of the coffee they produce. Over the past few years, they have complemented the Bourbons and Catuais and Caturras that make up most of their coffee groves with exotic varieties like Pacamara and Geisha.
We have worked closely with the Canales crew over the past three seasons to bring this coffee to market. The results of all that effort are evident in this lot, which reminds us of nectarine, fruit leather, and cola.