Von OBADIAH: Ana and Martha’s father bought Las Hortensias in 1992 and Ana and Martha took over from their father in 2014. Las Hortensias is located in the heart of the Dipilto area, one of the best-known coffee regions of Nicaragua with its own micro climate that is very favourable to high-end coffee production. The Dipilto mountain range was awarded the first coffee-related denomination of origin certificate in Nicaragua a few years ago.
The harmony of the soil, the water, the fauna and flora of Dipilto provide the authentic character to the coffee produced at Las Hortensias. Its owners pay particular attention to protecting the environment and applying sustainability practices, while delivering the highest quality possible, and they are growing only Maracaturra, Marselleza and Catuai below shade provided by Bucaro, citrus tree like lemon and orange and Guava. Ana and Martha are also very proactive in terms of processing, now mustering naturals, honeys, washed and anaerobic fermentation. In 2020 Las Hortensias has achieved the 6th place in the renowned Cup of Excellence competition of Nicaragua.
The family own a few farms that were inherited from Martha and Ana’s father. Like many properties in the area (in the north, bordering Honduras), the story of the farms’ ownership is a complex one. From 1975-1979 the Nicaraguan revolution hit the entire country, but it was even more intense at the Honduran border, forcing the family to emigrate to the USA. They returned to Ocotal six years later to find that their house and much of their farmland had been seized by the government. Only the house was returned to them – they had lost more than 100 manzanas (70ha) of coffee farm. The dry mill services their farms and greenhouse – which they built in 2020 to grow experimental lots and more delicate varieties – but also the coffee of some relatives and a few non-related producers from the area. In total, 47 other producers work with Cafetos de Segovia.
Most of the coffee is delivered as wet parchment or cherries and 80% of the lots are washed. The drying is usually started on a patio, in the shade for 5-6 days and then in full sun. All patios are covered with black net so that the coffee is not laid directly on the floor. Shade drying is necessary as the sun hits hard at this lower altitude (less than 900masl). The naturals are moved every 3-4 hours and the coffee is piled during the hottest hours of the day. Cafetos de Segovia submits lots to the national Cup of Excellence every year, and always ranks highly.