||Nicaragua Finca La Escondida Natural Laurina 2018
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.
In the grand scheme of coffee farm things La Escondida is still a rather young farm, the first trees were planted there only 12 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.
Some of the downsides of starting a 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 built a mill with a huge investment, and they used some of the people already in place in the neighbouring 'San Jose' to blend together an Escondida team comprising of experienced and new members.
This is the varietal Laurina, which is really rather 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.
Back in 2015 we were lucky enough to have this rare varietal for the very first time and have continued to enjoy it each year since, this year we have a washed lot and this naturally processed lot.
In the cup you're going to think raspberry - but blue raspberry candies. There's a little milk chocolate then a hit of peanut brittle that really builds in the aftertaste.
Farm: Finca La Escondida
Farm manager: Boanerje Martinez Montenegro
Coffee area: 92 manzanas (hectares)
Protected area: 3 manzanas
Elevation: 975–1,230 m.a.s.l.
Processing method: Natural
Medium dark - beware the small beans and take it nice and steady. Get through first and just up to the cusp of second before dropping.
"Quick Look" Guide
Blue raspberry, milk chocolate, peanut brittle.
Note: Cupping Scores for Clean Cup, Sweetness, Balance & Overall are actually 6.5 each, not as above (software limitation, allows whole numbers only)
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