Episode 20 on Monday the 23rd of March 2009 Limoncillo Special

We first bought this coffee back in 2007 in a buying group. From the first time I cupped it I loved it and it was one I had to get. It was only after the auction closed I found out that 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.

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 has worked well for the last two years. But we received an email this year that the importers were not going to be buying the coffee any more for reasons other than the cup quality. This lead to some frantic phone calls and some thorough searching of the back of the sofa for the loose change to fund buying 12 months' worth of coffee in one go. Many obstacles were in the way of doing this deal, but we were lucky that we were able to pull all the strings together with so little time.

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, as I have already said good friends, and well respected producers in Nicaragua, known for their experimental processing and 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.

• The employers pays their staff 30% more than what is typical minimum wage, as well as: • 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.

I'm pleased to say that in the cup it's very similar to the amazing coffee of last year. The best way I could describe this coffee is that it's like eating a toffee apple. At the front you get the sweetness of caramel, a big sticky mouth-feel, then this turns into a juiciness of green apple acidity that cleans the mouth and refreshes the palette, then the finish you get the two tastes mixing together to give you a balanced and complex coffee. One of my favourite coffees and that's why we worked hard to make sure it didn't get away, so you can enjoy it.

Farm: El Limoncillo Farmer: Dr Erwin Mierisch Region: Matagalpa Farm Size: 171.00 Hectares Coffee growing area: 109.00 Hectares Altitude: 1200 masl Varietal: Bourbon and Caturra Processing System: Washed and sun dried

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