Santa Gema - Nicaragua

Light Brown Sugar, Milk Chocolate, Golden Raisin

Limited Time Offering - At Finca Santa Gema de Mozonte, in Nicaragua's northern mountains, quality is the prime objective. Producer Mario Vilchez approaches farming thoughtfully and methodically, and his efforts shine through in this sweet, creamy coffee. Lightly caramelized notes of brown sugar, milk chocolate, and toffee dominate the cup, followed up by touches of golden raisin and delicate citrus.

On (GG co-owner) Trey's last visit to Nicaragua, he directly sourced this coffee and Regalo, a honey processed hybrid variety from producer Luis Balladerez. Try them both to see how wonderfully distinct coffee from the same region can be!


Profile Light - Medium
Producer Mario Vilchez, Finca Santa Gema de Mozonte
Region Nueva Segovia
Process Washed
Elevation 1420-1600 masl
Varieties Maracaturra
Harvest Dec - Apr


Mario Jose Vilchez Urbina exudes a calm confidence that immediately sets those around him at ease. His approach to his business is humble, methodical and laser-focused. Quality is his primary objective in the coffee he grows on his four small farms, all located within a mile of each other in the Mozonte region of Nueva Segovia. Finca Santa Gema includes 10 acres of coffee as well as Mario’s wet mill, and sleeping and eating facilities for his staff. His other three farms, La Santísima, La Escondida and La Excelencia, represent another 20 total acres of coffee production.

"It was very inspiring to meet Mario and his family. He purchased his first farm in his early 20's, just twenty years ago, and poured himself into producing the best coffee he could. A master at his trade yet extremely humble, Mario's a Cup of Excellence winner 10 times over but he still dries most of his coffee in his own backyard at his home in Ocotal. He grows mainly caturra and catuai varieties, in addition to a unique large bean known as a Maracaturra (a hybrid of Caturra and Maragogipe) that we're offering here. In the single day we had to cup over 100 different coffees, Mario's maracaturra really jumped out to me. So sweet, clean, and complex." - Trey Cobb, Greater Goods co-owner

Several days a week, Mario makes the hour drive from Ocotal up to his farms in Mozonte. The road up to the coffee growing areas is dusty and dry, surrounded by spindly pines and rocky terrain that wouldn’t appear condusive to coffee growing. The micro-climates in the mountains are partly due to natural springs that send rivers of fresh water down through the hills. These springs, along with more rainfall and humidity in general, abruptly transform the landscape from arid to lush. Walking through the forests around Mario Vilchez’ farms is like a jungle hike, with elevation just over 1,400 masl keeping the temperature relatively fresh throughout the day. “Lush” is also a good descriptor for the cup character of Mario’s coffees, which are prized for their sweetness and clarity.