Juan Ramon Diaz is the second generation of coffee producers after his father first started growing coffee in the early 1950’s. During his childhood, Juan Ramon learned that hard work paid off. Through helping his father he learned that in order to achieve good quality, a whole year of good practices and hard work must be accomplished in order for a good pay off at the end of the harvest, after cherries are delivered to the mill.
For some time he continued the traditional way of producing coffee; growing cherries and delivering to larger wet mills, however after volatility in the local market, he decided to invest in a small wet mill. In the beginning, he would only process the best lots of the farm, the cherries from higher altitudes and better varieties; but after time, he decided to commit to a larger investment and purchased a larger wet mill that could process his entire crop. At first he stuck to what he knew, only processing his coffee using the washed method, but after two years, he began to experiment with honeys and naturals.
The natural process was difficult in the beginning; since Juan Ramon had no knowledge or infrastructure to produce these coffees. With the aid of local producers as well as the technical help of ECOM’s Sustainable Management Services (SMS), he decided to purchase new parabolic covered drying beds. The investment paid off. After the investment in the new drying beds, he quickly began to perfect the process which kept getting better. Finally with the infrastructure in place, he was ready to start honey process. Juan Ramon quickly found out the high humidity in the region during the harvest created a problem. The last piece of the puzzle fell into place when he purchased a mechanical coffee drier, allowing him to finish his drying process even in the humid conditions of the region and achieve uniformity in every lot.
During the last few years Juan Ramón Jr. has become more involved in the production of coffee. He is now focusing on cupping and how those flavors are translated from different post and pre-harvest processes. This new direction is allowing the farm to get into specialty processing. Juan Ramon’s goal is to standardize the process so they could deliver quality and quantity throughout the years.
Tropical Fruit, Citrus, Cream
Passion for coffee is something that can change the quality. Juan Ramon Sr and Jr both have the passion needed to process excellent coffee. They like to wake up early with the sun and pick the coffee in the cooler mornings so they can take the coffee to the mill before the higher temperatures begin around midday. This allows the fermentation of the cherry to slow down and helps achieve the sweeter tropical cup you see here.
Juan Ramon uses a cherry floating system before he begins any post-harvest processing. After picking only perfectly ripe cherries, he takes them to the wet mill, where he then floats them. The underdeveloped cherries and lighter cherries float, and are removed allowing for better cup quality. Juan Ramon believes that washing and floating the coffee cherries before processing lowers the risk of molds and bacteria in the pulp, achieving a cleaner process and quality.
Ojo de Agua, Ocotal, Nicaragua
The region of Ocotal is just off the border of Honduras and Nicaragua. The city is known for is longevity as it was the third city founded by the Spanish conquerors in the region due to the presence of gold in the near-by hills.
New in 2019
During the last harvest Juan Ramón has placed special emphasis to an area that he has planted with Pacamara. He would like to expand the two hectares of Pacamara that are currently planted to the entire upper part of the farm in order to take full advantage of the cool microclimate that exists there.