Urth Caffé Acquires #1 Ranked Cup of Excellence National Winner: Nicaragua Finca El Polanco
Urth Caffé Coffee Roast Master Zach Fogel made the winning bid for the #1 ranked micro-lot coffee of the 2020 Nicaraguan Cup of Excellence national winners auction – Nicaragua Finca El Polanco. We arranged directly with the farm to receive this internationally recognized, award-winning micro-lot.
It is being roasted to perfection at the Coffee Roasting Room of Urth Caffé South Bay to highlight the coffee's unique flavor profile. This coffee is a real pleaser with a balanced, full-bodied cup with juicy green apple sweetness, bright acidity, and a pleasant dark chocolate finish.
Nicaragua Finca El Polanco is now available as single-origin, limited reserve package. Urth Caffé builds direct connections with world-class, organic coffee farmers like Finca El Polanco to develop as many farm-to-cup relationships as possible.
The 2020 Nicaraguan Cup of Excellence is being roasted to perfection at the Coffee Roasting Room of Urth Caffé South Bay to highlight the coffee's unique flavor profile. This coffee is a real pleaser with a balanced, full-bodied cup with juicy green apple sweetness, bright acidity, and a pleasant dark chocolate finish.
"I am a small organic farmer, and my coffee is of the highest quality. We give our coffee trees the very best attention from the time we plant to the harvest. Our finca (estate) is on virgin land where we plant without any chemical contamination," explained Francisco Polanco.
Francisco Polanco and his family are the proud producers of the Cup of Excellence National Winner micro-lot #1 rank 2020.
"The farm is named 'El Polanco' after my family's name. Our stewardship of the land includes planting on continuous terraces, careful pruning, plenty of natural shade and, most of all, we work all organic.
"For our commitment to quality, we pick only the ripe coffee cherry. We are also careful in the washing and pulping process. After washing, the coffee parchment is given needed time with sun drying as well, and we always select it well to have good quality."
Left: Terraced slopes of Finca El Polanco help capture the soil's nutrients and efficiently captures rainwater for natural irrigation. Middle: Large, dark green heirloom coffee tree leaves from the Finca El Polanco organic coffee farm. Right: Coffee flower blossoms resemble jasmine – white, star-shaped blossoms bloom in clusters at the base of the leaves, producing an exquisite scent that attract bees.
Since 1999, the Cup of Excellence®, based in Portland, Oregon, has been an innovative, life-changing program for coffee farmers that connects coffee roasters directly to the finest micro-lots of the world.
Utilizing a stringent competition and selection process, the Cup of Excellence has fundamentally changed the entire high quality coffee industry and has created and supported advances in farming and premiums to farmers that would have been impossible without it.
As the program expanded both buyers and farmers globally understood the sustainability value of transparency. Farmer identification is now a hallmark of the specialty coffee industry in countries with and without a Cup of Excellence program but it is due to the original structure of the competition that this has occurred. These individual farmers then can enjoy building direct and long-term relationships with those buyers that appreciate the coffees they produce.
Since the competition process is free and open to all farmers it has given thousands of farmers the tools needed to improve their coffees, experiment with varieties and processing, build economic relationships with the marketplace and financially motivate farmers and their families to stay on the farm – in fact young, educated people are returning to the farm with degrees in agronomy, marketing, and sensory analysis. For a sustainable coffee industry, it is critical that there is a financial motivation for innovation to remain on the farm.
"This contest for us is very important, it is very good so that people realize the good quality coffee that we are producing," Francisco said, adding he is "very happy" to participate.
He plans to invest the profits he's earned from the Cup Of Excellence – "It is very important to maintain it to keep it healthy and productive."
Left: Francisco Polanco tenderly caring for a young sprouting coffee seedling from the family nursery. Middle: Raised sun-drying beds contain only hand-picked, mature, dark red coffee cherries to ferment before removing the fruit off the coffee beans. Right: Organic compost is gold to an organic, sustainable farm like Finca El Polanco which keeps the soil healthy for future generations and helps produce great, award-winning coffee micro-lots. To produce the best organic compost Mr. Polanco recycles coffee cherry pulp, coffee skin, and all organic debris on the family farm in a compost pit for a minimum of one year to create the richest natural fertilizer.
Urth Caffé has paid a premium to Finca El Polanco at 3 to 4 times the commodity price for specialty coffee in Nicaragua – a premium well worth it for such a fine, award-winning coffee. Mr. Polanco's exquisite organic coffee most certainly lives up to its Cup of Excellence National Winner #1 Ranking. It can be experienced soon for a limited time on a first-come basis available to purchase at any Urth Caffé branch or at www.urthcaffe.com. Urth Caffé plans to build a long-term relationship with Finca El Polanco supporting the family maintaining their world-class organic coffee, improving the quality of their lives, and preserving their land for future generations to come.
Left: The terraces of Finca El Polanco that produced the 2020 Cup of Excellence National Winner #1 Coffee for which Urth Caffé made the winning bid. Right: Heirloom coffee trees at Finca El Polanco receive the required shade provided by the canopy of larger indigenous trees.
"I am a small organic farmer, and my coffee is of the highest quality. We give our coffee trees the very best attention from the time we plant to the harvest. Our finca (estate) is on virgin land where we plant without any chemical contamination."
~ Francisco Polanco, owner of Finca El Polanco