||Nicaragua Finca Limoncillo Natural Pacamara 'Funkier' 2013
We first bought from this farm back in 2007, in a buying group in the Cup of Excellence. From the first time I cupped this coffee, I loved it and it was one I had to get. 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 following year I visited the farm with our importers and spent the whole trip begging them to bring it in for us. Eventually they caved in and kindly did this for us. This worked well for two years. But we received an email last year that the importers were not going to be buying the coffee any more for reasons other than the cup quality. This led to some frantic phone calls and some thorough searching of the back of the sofa for enough loose change to fund buying 12 months' worth of coffee in one go. Many obstacles were in the way of doing this deal, but luckily we were able to pull all the strings together with so little time.
This year we had time to plan, and have expanded what we bring in from the farm.
So the upside of all of this is that we are proud to announce that Limoncillo is part of our direct trade program and I see it as a symbol of how Has Bean's buying program has developed, and how we are developing as a roastery. From Cup of Excellence, to long term relationship, to a direct relationship.
The farm is located in Matagalpa and is a huge 171 hectares. It's an amazing location with 9 waterfalls within 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 help 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 is a Pacamara varietal coffee. Pacamaras are a little crazy on the cupping table: they're unique. Add to this a natural processing that's been done by a great technician who is on the side of 'as mad as a box of frogs', this is one of the most complex, one of the most exciting, and one of my favourite, natural coffees of recent times.
So why the 'funkier' part of the name? This is a continuation of the idea of experimenting. This year Erwin build on elegant and funky, and pushed the boundary one more time. This time the cherries were turned every 2 and a half hours whilst drying, This gives an even funkier cup, hence the name.
In the cup think strawberry Angel Delight meets jam and cherry brandy: it's strawberry but creamy. Its body is as large as Big Daddy, its mouthfeel is gloupious and thick, its craziness goes off the scale. It's like no other coffee I have tasted, and is on the edge of being locked up and the key thrown away. Not for the faint hearted.
Farm: El Limoncillo
Farmer: Dr Erwin Mierisch
Farm Size: 171.00 Hectares
Coffee growing area: 109.00 Hectares
Altitude: 1200 masl
Processing System: Natural process and sun dried
Medium dark roast. it will take a little more roast than standard, just into second and drop.
"Quick Look" Guide:
Strawberry Angel Delight, cherry brandy, crazy, huge body and aftertaste.
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