Ripeness Team & Refractometers
At Gold Mountain Coffee Growers, we are pioneering technologies and methods to reach new levels of consistently-high cup qualities, year after year. Our ripeness team is armed with sugar-measuring refractometers (usually used in wine vineyards) and red-wine-colored wristbands that we designed based on our experiences. These tools ensure partner producers will pick coffee cherries that are at the optimum ripeness level for sweet, complex cupping results. Our ripeness team is a continuous presence on farms of partner producers, achieving results through constant verification.
Gold Mountain Coffee Growers has its own farm (Finca Idealista) and also connects partner coffee producers with roasters directly--from farm gates to your roastery. We are on the ground, all the time, maintaining both quality and relationships. Producers earn the right to connect with your roastery when their coffee makes the grade in the cupping lab, consistently--fostering healthy competition. They are rewarded based on quality with prices that beat certifications and allow them a dignified standard of living. We encourage roasters to come visit the farms with which they work to foster direct roaster/producer relationships.
Everything we do depends on excellent-cupping coffee. Our coffees have won the Good Food Award, Golden Bean medals, and other distinctions as a result of years searching out the best specialty coffees of Nicaragua. A licensed Q grader on staff separately cups every lot broken down by day, producer, parcel, variety, and process (washed, honey, natural, and extended anaerobic). Both light sensors and people pick out imperfections, ensuring that when our crop reaches you it reflects the hard work involved in growing it during an entire year. We use special food-grade packaging to seal in freshness and ensure excellent cupping scores unaffected by shipping. Our staff maintains quality along the entire supply chain directly from farms (including our own) to your roastery.
We are coffee farmers like our partner producers. Our farm, Finca Idealista, sits next to a nature reserve, whose trees are a natural air conditioner for our paca, caturra, bourbon, pache, and a few pacamara beans (we're also planting some new varieties). Our cool microclimate lengthens the coffee cherry maturity process, allowing beans time to absorb natural sugars and attributes for a sweet, flavorful cup. Our live coffee museum provides high-cupping varieties to producers and an educational experience for roasters.
Well-paid pickers select only the reddest cherries so the farm’s crop reaches its highest level of sweetness. We export and import only the best coffee for you with zero middlemen. It doesn't get any more direct!
In addition to washed coffee, we produce out-of-this-world natural and honey-process coffees. Reserve yours now before they're gone! You can also reserve coffee cherry tea.
We reinvest in our communities through sustainable-development projects:
Access to credit in a country where access to credit is nearly non-existent
90% female computing classes given for free to coffee community youth
An operation for a young girl so she could walk for the first time, and a handicapped-accessible house
Running water in schools far from utility grids
Textbooks, desks, libraries, and other educational necessities in schools.
Roasters are encouraged to get involved in sustainable-development projects.
We Bought a Rainforest Just to Protect It!
Some farms and companies decide to purchase certifications intended to show that they protect the environment or workers. We go further than certifications. We recently purchased a rainforest for the sole purpose of protecting endangered and at-risk wildlife and plants living there, including three-toed sloths, howler monkeys, tree frogs, toucans, orchids, and finches. Coffee roasters verify our efforts through direct-trade relationships. We encourage them to visit both our private rainforest reserve, our farm, and the farms of partner producers whose coffee they roast.
Shade trees protect biodiversity and add to the ecological sustainability of the mountains. On our farm (Finca Idealista), volcanic filters clean water run-off from washed coffee, and we compost coffee cherries for fertilizer. We produce natural- and honey-process coffees on our farm and with partner producers, which cuts water use and creates jobs. We turn perfectly ripe coffee cherries into coffee cherry tea for roasters (also known as cascara tea), and we teach partner producers to utilize similar sustainability practices. Combine these efforts with our purchase of a tropical rainforest (see above) for the sole purpose of protecting it, and you can know your high-cupping specialty coffee also has a strongly positive environmental impact. Our work was given the excellence award for sustainability by the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) in 2016.
Having our own coffee farm allows us to share experiences with partner producers. Together we prevent crop diseases, ensure crops have proper nutrients, obtain high-cupping seed varieties from our living seedbank, and ensure all beans are picked at their peak of ripeness (giving you sweet cups of coffee). We give access to credit and pay producers quality premiums so they can invest in improving their farms. When coffee leaf rust hit the region, we created this free guide to prevent and combat what has become a national emergency in some countries. We constantly strive for new levels of excellence on our farm (Finca Idealista) and on farms of partner producers.