Episode 409 on Monday the 12th of September, 2016. Nicaragua Finca Limoncillo Washed Caturra.

The story of Has Bean and Finca Limoncillo has been told many a time but it's 1 I really love to share, so much of where we are today has come from this relationship and I'm super proud of everything that's happened in the past + amazingly excited for where we can go in the future.

We first bought this coffee back in 2007 and back then it was as part of a buying group, I loved it from the first time I cupped it and it was a coffee I just had to get. It was only after the auction closed that I found out it was owned by a family in Nicaragua who are good friends and probably the only people I know from the whole country!

The following year I visited the farm with our importers and spent the whole trip begging them to bring the coffee in for us, eventually they caved in (possibly just to stop me pestering them!) and kindly did it.

This setup worked well for a couple of years, but we received notice a couple of years ago that the importers were not going to be buying the coffee any more, for reasons other than the cup quality. This led to some frantic phone calls and some thorough searching of the back of the sofa for loose change to fund buying 12 months' worth of coffee all at once. There were many many obstacles in the way of doing this deal, but we were lucky that we were able to pull everything together in a very short amount of time.

The upside of all this is that we now work directly with Limoncillo instead of going via anyone else, and it's a relationship I'm super happy to have. This coffee has gone from 1 off Cup of Excellence buy to a long-term relationship.

The farm is located in Matagalpa and is huge, at 171 hectares it's an amazing location and boasts 9 waterfalls within the farm. It's owned by the Mieresch family; as I have already said, they're good friends, and they're also well-respected producers in Nicaragua. They're 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 the information continues to prove to me that good people grow good coffee.

On the farm, the family:

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. Provide free day care facilities for families to use. Provide free healthcare facilities on the farms. Employ on-site teachers who educate the 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. The coffees we receive from Limoncillo are fantastic and they come from a fantastic relationship, Erwin has visited Stafford many times and it's always a pleasure to have him around. Last time he was here he ended up at a Weird Beard tap takeover in Manchester talking to 2 Weird Beards about crazy brewing / coffee farming ideas! A coffee from Finca Limoncillo (the Funky Red Pacamara) is used in 2 of their beers, Black Perle and Double Perle, mighty delicious beers!

In the cup this coffee makes me think of a toffee apple, on the front end there’s sweet sticky caramel which turns into juicy green apple with a hint of white grape.

  • Country: Nicaragua
  • Municipality: Yasica Norte 
- Region: Matagalpa

  • 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: Caturra
  • Processing system: Washed
  • GPS coordinates: N13 2.9569 W85 49.9756
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