The story behind Robusta Anaerobic Process LIFT
Nueva Guinea, on the Westernmost border of the South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region, is a tropical, low-elevation area of the country that, until recently, grew subsistence crops like banana, cassava, corn, and beans. The land around Nueva Guinea has been inhabited for 3000-4000 years, but the town was not founded until the 1960’s. In 1971, the Cerro Negro volcano, about 300km West, erupted and destroyed several towns. In the aftermath of the disaster over 1000 families were relocated to Nueva Guinea, drastically increasing the population.Download Robusta Anaerobic Process LIFT Info Sheet
Seeing a need to create sustainable coffee farming activities for rural Nicaraguans, over 10 years ago CISA (our sibling company in Nicaragua) founded a Robusta coffee farm with the intention of establishing the farms, making them sustainable, and then selling the parcels to local Nicaraguans. This initiative spawned an entirely new industry in the country and has been wildly successful, creating 1000’s of new jobs and bringing prosperity to a region in need of it. In 2016, with this plan fully underway, Mercon founded a LIFT cluster to help the producers better manage their new farms. Today there are 365 producers in the cluster growing coffee on 1,241 hectares of land, and Mercon bought over 63,000 bags of robusta coffee from the cluster last year, all destined to Europe.
Mercon Specialty has been working with CISA to create special lots from the Robusta LIFT cluster and here we present this anaerobically fermented lot, the first of its kind to be offered in the US.
This experimental lot which resulted in about 16 bags, comes from Finca San Antonio, which is attached to CISA’s mill of the same name. They selected only 100% ripe cherries and placed them into blue plastic kegs, sealing them tightly and removing all air to begin the anaerobic process.
After 96-120 hours in the kegs, the cherries were removed, pulped, and washed before being laid out on African-style raised beds and sun dried. After 5 days on the raised beds the coffee was moved to a covered patio to continue the drying process in a more controlled environment over an average of 17 days.
With the implementation of special processes like this anaerobic fermentation, we can create a balanced, complex coffee with lots of acidity and sweetness, yet still retaining the heavy body Robusta coffee is known for. And we can achieve all this at a good price for producers and consumers.Request a Quote or Sample