||Nicaragua Finca La Escondida Natural Laurina 2016
||Municipality: Lipululo, Departament: Jinotega
Finca La Escondida is close to Lake Apanas near the city of Jinotega, which is the capital of the department of Jinotega in the north-central region of Nicaragua. The straight translation from Spanish to English of 'escondida' is ‘hidden’. Escondida is called 'Escondida' because the farm is 'hidden' from the road by forest and trees, which makes it appear to blend right into the side of the mountain.
La Escondida is a rather young farm as coffee farms go, because the first trees were planted there only ten years ago – in 2006. La Escondida is planned around identifying the plots with individually different micro-environments resulting from factors such as soil quality, sun exposure and temperature range. This is one of the upsides of starting to plant a new farm.
This is the varietal Laurina, which is incredibly rare! Why is it rare? Laurina, or 'Bourbon Pointu', is a varietal with low caffeine content: around 0.6% compared to an average of 1-1.2% for many Arabica types, and compared to over 2% for some Robusta. It is a dwarf form from Reunion Island and is highly susceptible to leaf rust and disease, and its yield is low, but it produces a super interesting coffee.
Last year (2015) we were lucky enough to have this varietal naturally processed, and this year it's back and bigger than ever! (Not physically, of course. Physically it's still tiny and pointy!) This year we have washed, pulped natural and natural processed versions. That's three processes of the same rare varietal from one farm. I really do treat you all sometimes!
Some of the downsides of starting a brand new farm can be that it may take a while for the quality of the cup profile to build up, it might take time to have the right facilities for processing and picking, and it might take time to train the staff for picking and processing. Not to mention that it might take a while to achieve the yield to go with it all. But this farm, for me, has hit the whole group of requirements running. As a result of their experience in the area, the Mierisch family have built a new mill with a huge investment, and they utilised some of the people already in place in the neighbouring 'San Jose' farm to blend together an Escondida team comprising experienced and new members.
In the cup there's a lot of sweetness from the natural processing. Think strawberry sweets and candy sweetness. It's a very clean coffee with a lemon acidity and a slightly hoppy finish.
Farm: La Escondida
Farm manager: Boanerje Martinez Montenegro
Coffee area: 92 manzanas (hectares)
Protected area: 3 manzanas
Elevation: 975 - 1,230 m.a.s.l.
Harvest months: December–March
Diurnal temperature cycle: average: high 27° C, low 16° C
Varietals on farm: Bourbon, Java, Caturra, Catuai, Laurina
Processing type: Natural
Medium to medium-dark. My preference is just into second crack, first few pops and then drop.
"Quick Look" Guide
Strawberry sweets, candy, lemon, hops.
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