Farm: La Virgen
Farmer: Ramacafe (Grupo Hueck Poncon)
* Farm History:
FINCA LA VIRGEN is located in the stunning green mountains of Matagalpa Nicaragua, with a cultivated area of 180 hectares of coffee. La Virgen is widely acknowledged as exemplary model of sustainability, productivity, quality and technology. Owned by two families, Hueck Figueroa and Ponçon Güier, it is the product of friendship, partnership and coffee passion. Producers of specialty coffee since 1995, when Henry Hueck acquired the farm, he took over the management of this coffee plantation without any prior experience in the coffee industry.
One of the first projects at the farm since the beginning was to invest in building homes for permanent workers, as well as attention and creation of an ecosystem. La Virgen shows that it can be productive in a sustainable way, investing in free schooling, computers, medical care for workers, their families as well as the wider community, transforming farms into real havens where people live in harmony with the environment that surrounds them, allowing to improve the quality of life of their workers and the community.
These values allow FINCA LA VIRGEN to continue providing their customers with top quality coffee, as well as growing as a business by developing and refining their production techniques, bringing exciting new flavours and processes to an ever-growing and changing market.
We have the following varietals cultivated in FINCA LA VIRGEN: Caturra, Red catuai, Hybrid 3 (H3), H1, H17, Marsellesa, Starmaya, Gesha, Java, Maracaturra and Borbon 300.
The farm process washed, honeys and naturals on clay patios and raised beds.
* Family Generations:
In 1995, Henry Hueck began his journey in this beautiful coffee world, acquiring two coffee plantations La Virgen and San Martin with a purpose to invest in the communities through a sustainable project guided to produce high quality coffees applying corporate social responsibility practices and protection of the environment.
Henry met Gabriela his wife in 2004, a year later they got married and they share the same passion and dedication for the work they had been doing on the farms over the years.
In 2008, Henry had an opportunity to invest buying a farm in Jinotega. There was already a great friendship with Eric and Carolina Ponçon, Henry proposes to them if they wanted to join as partners, they agreed and RAMACAFE has become a product of friendship, partnership and coffee passion.
Both families have a new generation of young people who share, enjoy and respect the love for coffee. The new generation will continue this work and they will be able to do everything better.
* What were the good practices that you implemented that made it the winner of the Cup of Excellence program?
This 6th Place winner Lot from FINCA LA VIRGEN, comes from a Hybrid H3 varity, planted in 2011. This H3, is a hybrid created by a group of researchers concerned with finding the best quality coffee with excellent productivity. It is a cross between Caturra and an Ethiopian landrace from the CATIE collection.
“For this special Microlot we have trained over the years a group of pickers…mostly women that we choose to pick this particular coffees, who gets paid double the minimum wage and receives training to ensure they know the optimal ripening point of the cherry. This activity involves a careful hand selection of cherries at the precise stage of ripeness. Hard work, dedication, passion and perseverance of our pickers and the rest of the team in the wet mill and drying process. During harvest we supervise carefully the picking of this coffee. We wash the coffee cherries and remove all remaining floating. As soon as it is pulped, the coffee goes to dry slowly in Raised beds for 20 days”, says Gabriela Hueck, Head of Quality Control Department
* How does it feel to be one of the winners?
“HAPPY!! This award means the recognition of hard work searching the continuous improvement of our processes and at the same time of our coffees. We’re looking of being better every day. Having won the sixth place motivates us even more because we see rewarded the effort of all the team that participated in the selection of the winning lot”, says Gabriela Hueck
* In what will you invest the profits you obtain from the cup of excellence?
Hueck & Ponçon families will invest to buy equipment and tools they will use during fermentation in the coffee processing. Building more raised beds to continue drying special lots at the farm. Investing in training for the Quality Control Team.
* Had you participated in the Cup of Excellence program before?
Yes, we have already participated. However, this is the first time when we are closer to the top5.
We are so happy and thankful to God for winning 6th Place in this Cup of Excellence Competition 2018.
* What do you think of the cup of excellence program?
Cup of Excellence help us to show to the rest of the world that Nicaragua produces excellent quality coffee with its own characteristics and style.
* Social Media:
|Farm Name||La Virgen|
|Aroma/Flavor||jasmine, honey, black tea, watermelon, golden delicious, strawberry, white grape, golden raisin, banana, sweet taffy, bergamot, mango and papaya.|
|Acidity||floral, malic, juicy, creamy, consistent, increased sweetness, and velvety finish|
|Other||floral, apricot, and strong mouthfeel.|
|Auction Lot Size (lbs.)||1420.00|