In February 2016 Matthew, our head roaster, visited Nicaragua to make contact with Ben at Gold Mountain Coffee Growers. We've bought some excellent coffees over the last few years from the Peralta farms (via Falcon Speciality) and will be buying more this year. We wanted Matthew to see some of the these farms in person but our friend Henry at Perfect Daily Grind told us about Ben and insisted we visit him!
Gold Mountain coffee is a social enterprise organisation that works with several small farms and also produces coffee from their own farm. Their focus is on sustainability and ensuring that the farmers receive the money they deserve for their hard work. In order to achieve this they focus on producing small lots of washed, honey and natural coffees where they control the drying stage. The farmers will harvest and process washed coffees using their own facilities and will then deliver these part processed to the mill where Ben and his team will oversee the drying stage. In the case of the honey and natural processed coffees these will go straight to the mill for processing under strict control. Natural and honey processing can bring out amazing fruit flavours but only if processed correctly using raised beds for proper airflow. The arrangement that Ben has with local farmers works very well as he’s able to control the drying stage to ensure a superb product that will sell for a higher price generating more income for the farmer. Part of his focus is on training and harvesting to ensure that farmers and farm workers are properly training to pick only correctly ripe cherry. This is a challenge in many countries where farmers and workers are paid by weight. Often there is little incentive to harvest correctly ripened cherry. With proper training and the promise of better pricing for a superior product farmers and workers understand the benefit of properly caring for trees and harvesting correctly.
We purchased just 10 x 69kg bags of coffee this year and these have just arrived in the UK. We expect them to arrive at the roastery soon and should be available to purchase in the coming weeks once we’ve test roasted, sampled and profiled the coffees.