Process: Natural Low Temp Anaerobic
Altitude: 1,100 MASL
Cupping Notes: Watermelon, Blueberry, Caramel, Neapolitan Ice Cream
Description: First things first, we need to tackle what this coffee is, because a few of the words in the info above may be new to you, we only come across this processing and variety at Fincas Mierisch, who own and operate Limocillo. Let’s start with the variety. Javanica is a variety with some lore to it, specifically with the Mierisch Family. In mid 2001 Esteban Mierisch was offered coffee seeds by a man selling fruit on the side of the road. Skeptical, but intrigued, they purchased the seeds, and planted them. What they learned was that the man was actually selling these at the site of a defunct nursery project called UNICAFE who’s goal was to introduce exotic varietals and study their productivity and disease resistance. The variety purchased from this roadside salesman did not turn out to be resistant to any of the major coffee diseases, but it was in fact the longberry Ethiopian variety that was taken to the island of Java where it got it’s name. Given it’s new home in Nicaragua, Esteban dubbed it “Javanica”, and it’s since placed many times in the Cup Of Excellence in Nicaragua, most recently taking 4th place in 2017.
Now let’s talk about fermentation, the Mierisch family have experimented heavily with fermentation styles, and have developed a system that produces some really incredible qualities in the cup. This lot was fermented anaerobically (without the presence of oxygen) in an oxygen-free barrel inside of a cold box that is kept between 42-50℉. The benefit of no oxygen during fermentation is unique acidity, and regulating the temperature keeps the coffee from over fermenting. After 48 hours of fermentation in the cold box, the coffee was transferred to patios for the first few days, left in the direct sun to slow fermentation. At the Don Esteban mill coffee does not dry directly on concrete patios. They have developed a system to allow airflow for the drying coffee, where they lay down a thick layer of parchment, covered by a black polymeric material net. After three days on the patios, drying is finished on raised beds for 29 days, for a grand total of 32 days of drying time.
Fincas Mierisch is a family owned group of farms that have been farming coffee since the early 1900’s! With that time comes a lot of expertise, and this family is doing some of our favorite work in the coffee industry at origin. Limoncillo is the second oldest farm in the family, purchased in 1930 in Matagalpa, a region known for producing great coffee and also a German immigration settlement in the late 1800’s. Bruno Mierisch was the first German immigrant to arrive in Nicaragua, where the government hired him to help build the national railroad. The Nicaraguan government didn’t have the money to pay for Bruno’s work, and actually paid him in the land that would become the families first farm, Las Lajas. Today, there are some pretty awesome things happening on the Fincas Mierisch farms. Limoncillo has child care, a primary school, a clinic, provides yearly training for employees, and produces its own renewable energy through hydro powered turbines. Pretty special to think what awesome things are going on today in Matagalpa, Nicaragua because one man’s emmigration a hundred years ago.
All that info, but you’re still wondering how it tastes.. Without being dramatic, this is the highest scoring arrival we’ve cupped all year. It’s vibrant, sweet, juicy, fruity… Nothing can be as good as tasting this for yourself, but we got fruity notes of Blueberry up front that cooled into Watermelon, sweetness of Caramel, and a linger like Neapolitan Ice Cream, chocolatey and strawberry-y. This is a coffee that we’ve brought info a few years, and we couldn’t be happier to share it with you again.