||Nicaragua Finca Limoncillo Washed Ethiosar 2015
||Varietal: Ethiosar (Ricardo)?
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.
So what's this Ethiosar varietal I hear you ask? Well it's from the hard work of the Mierisch family and their cousin Ricardo who owns a farm near to Limoncillo but at a much lower altitude of 800 m.a.s.l. Ricardo noticed that his yield and his plants were suffering and seemed to be becoming more susceptible to disease, he puts this down to growing issues in Nicaragua, a change in climate, increased rains and his low altitude. But from experiments he was running on the farm he noticed that this newly spliced varietal he had put together was thriving, it was fruiting much more than the other plants, and was not suffering.
The varietal, Ethiosar, is a stable hybrid plant. It is a cross of an Ethiopian variety (Rume Sudan) with a Sarchimore (a cross of a Villa Sarchi with a Timor variety). The offspring of this plant is then crossed once again with a Villa Sarchi (an improved Caturra / Bourbon from Costa Rica).
The Timor variety is the robusta variety used to produce all the Catimores, in short it only has a very small percentage of Catimores in it, thus making it very resistant to rust in most parts of the world. The Rume Sudan is a very old variety of Typica from Ethiopia. Both Rume Sudan and Villa Sarchi are known for their great cup characteristics.
What Ethiosar does is increase production by up to 40% whilst only needing 2,800 plants per manzana, whereas with Caturra you would need 4,000 plants. This may not seem important until you begin to think that each plant needs fertiliser, so not only are you getting more yield but it's cheaper to grow because you need less fertiliser, less plants (plants have to be grown or bought), and it's also quicker to pick. On top of all of this, it's super tasty.
In the cup expect plenty of fresh lime zest, with a bright and zingy acidity that's super clean and refreshing. In the aftertaste you'll find a taste of delicious craft beer hops.
Municipality: Yasica Norte
Farm Name: Limoncillo
Farmer: Dr Erwin Mierisch
Farm Size: 171 Manzanas Hectares
Coffee growing area: 109 Hectares?
Harvest Months: December - February
Diurnal Temperature Cycle: Avg High 28C, Low 20C
Altitude: 1,200 m.a.s.l.?
Varietal: Ethiosar (Ricardo)?
Processing System: Washed
Medium to medium dark roast. My preference is just into second crack, first few pops then drop.
"Quick Look" Guide
Lime zest, zingy acidity, super clean, refreshing, hops.
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