Varietal: Red Catuai
Altitude: 1,100 MASL
Cupping Notes: Red Apple, Almond, Milk Chocolate, Sugar Cookie
Description: Red Catuai is the most planted variety on Fincas Mierisch farms, the family owned group who own and operate Limoncillo. The Mierisch family favor this variety for coop quality and yield, they like that it often has “notes of chocolate and red fruits like strawberry and cherry”. This is also the variety that the family uses as a test variety whenever working with a new farm, since they have become so familiar with the conditions and nutrition that it requires. This lot is the Estate blend from Limoncillo, meaning it’s a blend from many Red Catuai plots on the farm that meet the quality and cup profile standards.
They harvest only “blood red, ripe cherries” and after harvest coffee are floated in the minimal amount of water needed to sort out cherries that are underripe or low density. Cherries are then depulped, and dry fermented, which Erwin Mierisch prefers for water conservation, and he says it also removes the mucilage faster when compared to fermenting underwater. One the mucilage has been washed clean, the parchment coffee will be transferred to patios. 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. It will dry here for two days under direct sun to prevent over fermentation or mold growth, and then moves to raised beds inside a greenhouse to finish drying for 11 days for a total of 13 days drying time. This slow drying keeps the coffees embryo alive which is ideal for shelf life.
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.
The coffees from Limoncillo this year sampled and arrived cupping in some of our top coffees this year. This Washed Red Catuai is definitely among that list among estate blend coffees. It’s a step above a classic Central American, which is no surprise, given the expertise of Fincas Mierisch. We got fresh Red Apples, Almond, Milk Chocolate, and a sweet finish that reminds us of Sugar Cookies.