During the harvest, each producer will carefully pick the ripe cherries and sort. Next, the cherries are delivered to the wet mill, to be further sorted, and processed. Each producer has their own wet mill facilities within their farms. This lot is a mixture of Natural and Fully Washed coffees. The washed lots are pulped with a machine to remove the external fruit. The freshly pulped coffee is moved to large cement tanks to ferment, breaking down the sticky mucilage. The naturals are immediately fermented in cement tanks. For the washed lots, the coffee is washed in channels after fermentation to remove any remaining mucilage or foreign matter. Once clean, the coffee is dispersed on raised beds to dry in the open sun for 12 days. The naturals dry on raised beds for 34 days. Normally, producers will process and partially dry their coffee before delivering to the Gold Mountain partner mill to complete processing. After the ideal moisture content is reached, the coffee is rested at the dry mill before being hulled and prepared for export.
Introduced into the country in the mid-1800s and forming a central position in the country’s economy for more than a century, coffee is currently Nicaragua’s primary export. Its production generates over $448 million dollars a year in exports, representing 8.2% of overall exports, and provides more than 200,000 jobs to locals.