The Story Behind La Esmeralda “Red Cherry Project” SHG LIFT
This coffee is one of our most special in Nicaragua. Since Mercon has been working in Nicaragua for more than 60 years, we’re always excited for the opportunity to feature high quality coffee from our home country. The Red Cherry project is a special project, developed through Mercon, which works in tandem with LIFT. We carefully chose a group of small producers from our own supply chains in this region, and who we trained to learn and do a proper and strict picking process at their respective farms to only deliver the best ripe cherries.
This community is in Jinotega, Nicaragua at 1,250m or higher above sea level. We have extremely high standards for cherry ripeness and quality, and we purchase the coffee directly from the producer at a high price. Once cherries are delivered, it is washed and then slowly dried in our temperature and humidity controlled drying facility for 28 days.
The farmers in the Red Cherry Project have an average productivity of 22+ bags per hectare, growing caturra, sarchimor and catuai varieties. This is nearly twice the national average and further helps secure the financial well being of our producer partners. The 150+ producers in the program are 95% small holders, with less than 5 hectares of land. We provide technical and financial assistance to help the farmers achieve goals in soil and forest preservation, water protection, and water treatment systems.
This coffee is consistently high-quality year over year, and we expect it to continue improving the more we work with our producer partners in the region. We have found this coffee to have a medium body, with floral aromas and notes of red currant and citrus.