The farms we selected for this Swiss Water Process decaf live and work quite a ways off the beaten path. These are places that get dark at night, really dark. These small-holding farmers also happen to sit within the region of Dipilto, known for its active population of duendes.
Los Duendes are sort of like leprechauns, dwarves, or pint-size goblins. They reside in the caves around northern Nicaragua that were dug by pre-Columbian gem-seekers. Los Duendes rarely appear to adults, but kids say that they’re hideously ugly, dress in bright red and green, and laugh a wicked--yet powerfully alluring--laugh. That’s how los Duendes kidnap kids, and it’s why you should stay out of those caves.
We at Four Barrel are adults, so we’re not worried about los Duendes. What we care about is showing off the incredible progress these producers have made in the last couple years. Every one of these coffees was dried on raised beds (rather than black tarp), in 80% shade, for a languorous 10-14 days.
From Mozonte to Estilí to Ocotal, the growing and milling techniques have improved leaps and bounds. In fact, you should go see for yourself. But if you take the shortcut through La Cueva del Duende, don’t bother with flashlights. For some reason, they don’t work in there.