||Nicaragua Finca Limoncillo Natural Longberry 2015
|| Varietal: Longberry
The story of Has Bean and Finca Limoncillo has been told many a time but it's 1 I really love to share, so much of where we are today has come from this relationship. I'm super proud of everything that's happened in the past and amazingly excited for where we can go in the future.
We first bought coffee from this amazing farm back in 2007 as part of a buying group in the Cup of Excellence. The very first time I cupped a coffee from Finca Limoncillo I absolutely loved it and knew it was a farm I had to get involved with. It was only after the auction closed that I found out it was owned by the father of two brothers in Nicaragua who are probably the only people I know from the country, and are good friends of mine.
The farm is a whopping 171 hectares in size and is located in Matagalpa towards the north west of Nicaragua, it's an amazing location that has not 1, not 2 but 9 waterfalls on the farm! It's owned by the Mieresch family, whom as I have already said are good friends, and are also well respected producers in Nicaragua known for their experimental processing, varietal work, and exceptional coffee.
The fact that the family are friends helps us drill down into the details of what they do for the people who work for them, and continues to prove to me that good people grow good coffee.
Pay their staff 30% more than what is typical minimum wage
Provide free housing for 60 families on their farms
Provide free electricity and running water for their homes
Provide free food for all workers
Have free day care facilities for families to use
Provide free health care facilities on the farms
Employee on-site teachers who educate their staff and teach other skills such as pottery and weaving. The goal is to help staff diversify their skills, the teachers are also paid twice the wages they would receive in the cities.
This coffee is the fruit of some of the amazing experimental work that's taking place at Limoncillo, I'll let Erwin explain how they came to have this unique coffee...
Here my 'story' begins back in mid 2001, I sound like a grandfather...
My father and I were coming back from visiting some top farms in Nicaragua, as we sometimes do in order to learn from our neighbours. If we discover anything worthwhile we then implement those things to improve efficiency and quality on our own farms.
As we drove past the UNICAFE experiment station Juanetillo, which had gone under, a man on the side of the road flagged us down and explained to us how the experiment station had closed down and that his 'severance' was tools and coffee seeds since they did not have the cash to pay him. He asked if we would be interested in helping him out by purchasing these items off of him. In all honesty, I was not very happy that my father forced me to stop to see what this man wanted; therefore, I was not very receptive to his offer, but purchased a bag of seeds and old beaten up shovels. I gave no thought to the 20lb bag of coffee seeds that was labelled as JAVA.
My father later showed these seeds to our then supervising agronomist Ing. Patricia Contreras, who worked at that research station, and she was ecstatic. She told us about how great this coffee was, but also that it was not very productive nor resistant to disease, as she recalled from running this study at Juanetillo back in the 80s. She also said that the real name for it is Longberry and that it has its roots in Ethiopia. We began to run some more experiments; various altitudes and processing methods, and have been learning how to manage it since.
As far as we can tell the Longberry varietal is a Typica type coffee because of its bean shape, as is the Geisha. Its physical appearance is a uniform seed that is elongated. It has been described by several of our customers as an Ethiopian Long Berry type.
In the cup there's an immediate hit of peach almost like someone's slipped a glug of Robinsons peach squash in, but it's quickly ushered away by a whoosh of fermented natural boozy strawberry. The body is super creamy and towards the end of each sip you might notice a soft whisper of lavender.
Municipality: Yasica Norte
Farm Name: Limoncillo
Farmer: Dr. Erwin Mierisch
Farm Size: 171 Hectares
Coffee growing area: 109 Hectares?
Harvest Months: December - February
Diurnal Temperature Cycle: Avg High 28°C, Low 20°C
Altitude: 1,200 m.a.s.l.?
Processing System: Natural
Medium to medium dark roast. My preference is just into second crack, first few pops then drop.
"Quick Look" Guide
Peach, boozy, strawberry, creamy, lavender.
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