The Nicaragua El Madroño is our latest Fresh Crop feature. Georgia from Padre HQ shares her recipes for both filter and espresso below for this fortnight's Fresh Crop Exclusive!
Nicaragua has rather ideal coffee growing conditions. The country has a wide range of altitudes, humid temperatures and is rich with volcanic soils. After a history of political upheaval, and natural and economic disasters, modern day Nicaragua now depends on coffee as its primary export. The coffee is mainly processed and exported through the large number of cooperatives across the country which have played a key role in the development, education and support of small holder farmers.
This is a particularly exciting lot comes from the coffee growing department of Jinotega. It’s a fully washed blend of caturra, catuai, pacas and maracaturra varietals, grown in the cloudy mountains of Nicaragua by 65 small-scale farmers.
The coffee gets its namesake from the national tree of Nicaragua, the Madroño. The tree blooms between the months of November and February, which also happens to be peak coffee harvesting season across the country.
The Madroño produces striking white flowers, emanating a very sweet fragrance (not too dissimilar from my experience when smelling the coffee grounds). The flowers from the tree are also used during La Purisma de La Concepcion in December, a religious activity that is only celebrated in Nicaragua and where thousands of Catholic parishioners gather to profess their religion. The Madroño tree is a symbol of culture and tradition.
This coffee is an everyday coffee. In espresso, the dried peach and nutty flavours of the coffee combine so well, and there’s a real hint of dark cocoa in the finish. The toffee and orange citrus are the main features of the filter coffee. It’s light, breezy and effortless. I could drink a whole cup and still go back for more!
Preheat your kettle to 96 degrees with filtered water and while your kettle boils, weigh and grind your coffee and set aside.
Fold your filter paper along its seam and place within the V60 dripper. Sit the dripper on top of your vessel (cup or server) and place on top of your scales.
Once boiled, pour water over the filter paper to get rid of any unwanted paper residue and to heat your brewing vessel. Discard the water left in the vessel.
Add your coffee to the dripper, giving the cone a light shake to ensure a flat bed of ground coffee.
Tare off your scales and you’re ready to go!
Start your timer and evenly pour 30ml of hot water over the coffee, I like to move the kettle in a small circular motion, working my way from inside to out, ensuring the grinds are fully saturated. You will start to see bubbles in the saturated coffee, this is the blooming process and will make for an even extraction and enhance those lovely, sweet flavours. Allow to sit for 30-35 seconds
Once the coffee has bloomed for around 35 seconds you can start your first pour. Using the same circular motion as your bloom, begin pouring from the centre and working your way to the outside of the dripper and back. Keep a consistent pour until you have added around 180ml. Wait for the water to run through the coffee until it is almost completely drained. This should be around the 1:30 mark.
Start your second pour with the remaining 90ml of water using the same technique as the last. Let the water run completely through the coffee and filter paper until drained.
Enjoy your coffee!
Domestic espresso recipe (using a Breville Bambino)
On the Slayer LP we use 22g of coffee and aim for a yield of 38g, however your machine and set up will determine what dose (and therefore, yield) you should aim for. Some domestic machines have 20-22g baskets, however some will only be able to hold 16-18g. Use the ratio to adjust the espresso recipe.
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