Nicaragua: Santa Adela Carbonic Maceration

Red gummies, candied apple, and red rose


Country: Nicaragua
Region: Jinotega
Producer: Maximino Palacios
Farm: Finca Santa Adela
Process: Carbonic Maceration Natural
Variety: Red Catuai
Harvest: October-March
Elevation: 1100-1240 meters

Maximino Palacios and his wife Marlene are perfectionists when it comes to coffee quality at their farm, Santa Adela. Through a strong partnership with Gold Mountain Coffee Growers, they're able to continue innovating with experimental processes like this carbonic maceration microlot - a multi-time Gold Bean Award-winning coffee.

Cherries for this lot are picked all morning and then journey two to three hours through the mountains to Finca Idealista, where they are double-fermented in an anaerobic environment as whole cherries.

Staff take Brix refractometer and pH readings many times each day so that the level of fermentation and pH allow clean fruit notes to abound in the final cup.

What is Carbonic Maceration?

'Carbonic Maceration' is a winemaking technique adapted for coffee processing. The freshly picked coffee cherries undergo fermentation in a low-oxygen environment for a specific period. In the case of this stunning lot from Finca Santa Adela, the cherries go through an extended fermentation of 118 hours.

Here's how it works: Fresh coffee cherries are placed in a sealed container with a one-way valve, which allows oxygen to escape. Carbon dioxide, produced naturally by the fermenting cherries, accumulates, pushing all the oxygen from the tank. This unique environment encourages the development of distinctive and diverse flavor profiles in the coffee.

Maximino's carbonic maceration lot is a perfect example of the unique and delicious flavor potential this processing method can bring to the cup, with rich red apple body, rosy florals, sweetness like red gummy bears and a juicy, quenching mouthfeel.