Excited to bring you yet another coffee from our good friends at Fincas Mierisch in Nicaragua, this time from their El Limoncillo farm.
The farm was named after the Limoncillo (a small type of lemon) that was already growing on the farm when it was purchased. It was purchased in 1930 after one of their grandfathers made the transition from attending a military academy to civilian life. Limoncillo is the 2nd oldest coffee farm in the Fincas Mierisch group (Los Placeres is 1st). Typica was the sole varietal grown on the farm up until the mid-1990’s, but due to climate change, unstable market pricing, and vulnerability to coffee leaf rust we decided to diversify our varietals and also focus extensively on quality over quantity.
The Matagalpa region was ground zero for German immigrant settlement in Nicaragua, and the great majority of them got into coffee or another agricultural product. Their great-great grandfather, Bruno Mierisch, was the first of the family in Nicaragua in the late 1800’s. He was hired to help in the building of the national railroad, since he was a geologist by trade, however, once his work was finished the Nicaraguan government did not have enough money to pay him so they paid him with land. His first farm was Las Lajas in Matagalpa, which now is owned by one of the second cousins. There was no coffee on the farm initially, it had only had some lemons growing there. Around 1908 is when he started producing coffee, and this is because the Nicaraguan government was providing incentives (tax cuts, subsidies, etc) for farmers to plant coffee. Jose Santos Zelaya (president of the time) came from a family of coffee producers and he pushed for the cultivation of coffee in the country.
All the farms provide child day care services for their workers and have access to elementary schools. Limoncillo, however, has its own primary school on site, and its own clinic. Child labor is strictly prohibited on all their farms, and children are provided free meals during the harvest. Discrimination of any kind is also not permitted on the farms. Limoncillo produces its own renewable energy through hydro powered turbines.
Being an UTZ certified farm, they provide training yearly in better agricultural practices to their employees which has helped increase yield and cup quality, while also lower production costs.
The Yellow Pacamara is a natural mutation of the Red Pacamara (a cross between a Maragogype and Pacas). Fincas Mierisch first discovered this yellow maturing varietal on their farm El Limoncillo around 2004. A security guard, Santos, was walking our Red Pacamara field and noticed some trees was giving off yellow fruit. He informed the farm manager and the family, yet he was initially ignored. Erwin's father, was intrigued by this mutation and sought advice from the Council of Specialty Coffee of El Salvador (where Pacamara was created) and he was informed that indeed it was a natural mutation of Red Pacamara.
This was a relief as they initially thought the tree was ill. A weird fact, however, was that they did not have any yellow maturing varieties on Limoncillo at the time. Erwin and has family planted some seeds from these initial trees and from there have grown this varietal in their other farms as well. Although Limoncillo is not the highest altitude farm, this varietal still behaves very favorably in this micro-climate. This varietal requires more food (fertilizer) than other varieties, about 20% more when compared to a Bourbon or Caturra, and requires soil that is rich in magnesium, zinc, and potassium. It is also a varietal that is susceptible to diseases and does not produce a large yield. Despite these disadvantages, this varietal produces a spectacular cup profile. Fruitier and more citric than its red maturing cousin.
The coffee is processed as washed. It begins by an initial dry fermentation for 36 hours. Dry fermentation is used as an effort to conserve water and to quickly remove mucilage. Post fermentation, the coffee is washed then dried on a polymeric net for four days in order to allow better airflow and limit fermentation.
This one is screaming fresh fig, peach and elderflower!
- El Limoncillo
- Fincas Mierisch
- 850 - 1110masl
- yellow pacamara