Farm: Finca La Ventaja
Varietal(s): 100% Red Caturra
Processing: Fully washed & dried on raised beds
Altitude: 1,200 to 1,450 metres above sea level
Owner: Norman Paguaga and Sergio Paguaga
Town: Laguna, Diplito
Region: Nueva Segovia
Total size of farm: 42 hectares
Area under coffee: 42 hectares
Finca la Ventaja was founded in 1994 by Don Ramon Catalino Paguaga, father of the farm’s current owner, Norman Paguaga. When he first acquired the farm, Don Ramon had been working on a coffee plantation in the area as a day labourer, performing tasks such as weed control by machete, fertilising, shade regulation and other activities that compose the day-to-day work on a coffee farm. Don Ramon had a love of coffee and knew that he was destined to put that love into his own farm one day. With a great deal of effort, he set about saving enough money to buy a piece of land. Finally, a mid-size plot (around 30 manzanas - or 21 hectares) became available in the nearby community, La Laguna #2. He purchased it in 1994 and immediately set about establishing Caturra trees on the land.
Dipilto (the municipality where La Laguna is located) is an ideal location for coffee production, with various microclimates, great elevation and a wide range of coffee varieties. With the help of his family, Norman has made the most of these natural surroundings and has grown from strength to strength as a coffee farmer. Today he and his son, Sergio – who manages Ventaja today – are considered some of the best coffee farmers in Nicaragua! He has doubled his land to about 60 manzanas (around 42 hectares) of primarily Caturra and Red Catuaí and has won multiple prizes, including placing highly in the 2015 Cup of Excellence Competition and in the 2016 Los Cafes Mas Finos de Nicaragua (Finest coffees of Nicaragua) competition.
All coffee is processed at Finca La Ventaja’s own mill. The stringent practices start with only the ripest and most perfect cherries being picked during the harvest. These are delivered immediately to the wet mill, pulped, and then fermented for between 14 and 24 hours depending on the climate at the time. After fermentation, the coffee is fully washed and then soaked in clean water until all traces of mucilage are removed. After washing, it is delivered to the Guadalupana mill in Ocotal (only about 25 km from the farm) where the coffee is carefully evenly dried on raised beds. The drying process takes between 12 and 18 days depending of the weather, during which time it is carefully turned on a regular basis. After achieving optimal humidity, the coffee is rested and then dry milled at Ocotal mill when it is ready to be exported.