Farm: Buena Esperanza
Farmer: Agricola Rajuanse S.A
* Farm History:
Buena Esperanza Estate is the crown jewel RAJUANSE Estates. It is located in a privileged mountain valley in the center of Matagalpa County. Originally it was part of a timber operation dating back to the 1960’s owned by an American lumber operation. In early 1970s, it began its transformation into coffee but during the late 1970s and 1980’s, political events in Nicaragua led to national instabilities in many sectors, including farming in general. Starting in the 1990’s Buena Esperanza started to stabilize but many social issues were pending to be resolved by the previous owners. In November 2013, the farm was acquired by the Ortiz Stoessel family, a Nicaragua Peruvian family venture. Buena Esperanza was in dire straits and it presented an opportunity to restructure the framework of the farm with modern day standard and practices.
The new operation was named RAJUANSE Estates. The name has the first two letters of each of the sons of the Ortiz Stoessel family, which they themselves named. When the RAJUANSE Family took control of Buena Esperanza, a master plan was created to bring back Buena Esperanza to its glory and use its natural given physical location to grow quality coffee. In the master plan, it called for renewal of all coffee plants, protection of its natural water springs, reforestation and protection of its natural forest, and unite neighboring communities in a common interest of sustainability.
During the first three years, Buena Esperanza planted 500,000 new coffee plants per year. It began its certification program and in 2016 it was certified by two major sustainability programs. The farm is committed to maintaining a sustainable footprint and has identified 50% of the land to keep and protect its natural forest.
* Family Generations:
We are a first-generation coffee family with the second generation working side by side learning from day one. This project has been open sourced to new friends who have been our extended family and have up to five generations of coffee experience in diverse countries from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru and even Zimbabwe. We are proud to have Buena Esperanza as unification point of great coffee extended families where all contribute for its success at all levels
* What were the good practices that you implemented that made it the winner of the Cup of Excellence program?
Great coffee requires consistent and orderly processes every day and at every stage. They are not the same everywhere as they require adaptation to climate and physical properties of the farm. Empowerment at every level of responsibilities have been given so every member of team understands they are important in the coffee excellence chain. Our operation model constantly challenges everyone since it is not stagnant, and it is always looking to improve. Thus, understanding the processes that is required to produce high quality coffee has challenged everyone on our team to constantly strive for greatness.
The Cup of Excellence Competition is a great guide to measure greatness of the synchronization of all team members bringing their best every day. We first entered the Cup of Excellence in 2016 and again in 2017. We did not qualify. Our team was convinced we had all the tools and people, we just had to bring it all together. During all of the 2017 we focused on every step, from fertilization processes, brix measuring for appropriate picking time, minimizing time from picking to wet mill, and wet mill to dry mill. Our team training included key personnel from the farm with cuppers to correlate field work to cupping. We went further into different drying processes on different varieties of our coffees having the cuppers at the dry mill report results on different lots to make any necessary adjustments at the farm.
* How does it feel to be one of the winners?
It was a very emotional moment that we all shared and that has elevated our benchmark to our constant commitment for excellence.
* In what will you invest the profits you obtain from the cup of excellence?
RAJUANSE Estates started a program called EDUCAFE which is currently on its third year. Its purpose is to provide tools and teach nontraditional skills to its supporting community. The final goal is for our community members to benefit from these trade skills to be able to generate income during non-harvest time. We currently run weekly workshops during the non-harvest time of the year at the farm at no cost to the participants. Since the program is growing in numbers of participants, we need to improve the physical installations and equipment to continue the program’s growth. Therefore, we are dedicating 100% of the proceeds to the EDUCAFE program.
* Had you participated in the Cup of Excellence program before?
This was our third year that we entered the contest
* What do you think of the cup of excellence program?
The Cup of Excellence brings out the best in teams to the great art of coffee production and clearly rewards those that consistently pour passion and effort year around. Our team was extremely proud to have qualified to enter the contest this recent year. However, being awarded the Cup of Excellence went beyond expectations and created believers out of everyone involved in the RAJUANSE Estates family.
* Social Media.
|Farm Name||Buena Esperanza|
|Farmer/Rep.||Agricola Rajuanse S.A|
|Aroma/Flavor||orange, black currant, peach, clove, bakers chocolate, mandarin, lime, eucalyptus, molasses, dark chocolate, smooth finish, sweet, and consistent.|
|Acidity||citric, grippy, complex, mandarin, lime, and green apple.|
|Other||juicy, smooth, and jammy.|
|Auction Lot Size (lbs.)||1058.21|