Episode 716

Finca Limoncillo is located in Matagalpa and, at 171 hectares in size, it. is. huge! Situated at an amazing location, it boasts nine waterfalls within the farm and is owned by the Mierisch family; as I have already said, they’re good friends, and 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.
  • Provide free electricity and running water for their workers' homes.
  • Provide free food for all workers.
  • Provide free daycare facilities for families to use.
  • Provide free healthcare facilities.
  • 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.

So what's this Ethiosar varietal, I hear you ask? Well, we've been roasting Ethiosar from Limoncillo for quite a few years now, and it comes from the hard work of the Mierisch family and their cousin Ricardo. He owns a farm near to Limoncillo, but at a much lower altitude of 800 metres above sea level. Ricardo noticed that his yield and his plants were suffering and that they seemed to be becoming more susceptible to disease. He put this down to growing issues in Nicaragua, a change in climate, increased rains and his low altitude. But from experiments he was running on the farm, he noticed that this newly-spliced varietal he had put together was thriving. It was fruiting much more than the other plants and was not suffering.

The varietal, Ethiosar, is a stable hybrid plant. It's a cross of an Ethiopian variety (Sudan Rume) with a Sarchimor (a cross of a Villa Sarchi with a Timor variety). The offspring of this plant is then crossed once again with a Villa Sarchi, which is an improved Caturra / Bourbon from Costa Rica.

Someone's put Nice biscuits and hazelnuts in a blender for this sweet and balanced coffee. A delicate but crisp redcurrant note keeps it interesting, whilst a hint of raisin on the finish rounds it out.

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

  • Farm name: Limoncillo
  • Producers: The Mierisch Family
  • Farm size: 171 hectares
  • Coffee growing area: 109 hectares

  • Elevation: 1,200 m.a.s.l.

  • Varietal: Ethiosar (Ricardo)

  • Processing system: Pulped Natural

Cupping Notes

Hazelnut, biscuit, redcurrant

  • Clean cup: (1–8): 6.5
  • Sweetness: (18): 6.5
  • Acidity: (18): 6.5
  • Mouthfeel: (18): 6
  • Flavour: (18): 6
  • Aftertaste: (18): 6.5
  • Balance: (18): 6.5
  • Overall: (18): 6
  • Correction: (+36): +36
  • Total: (max. 100): 86

Roasting Information
Medium Dark - just up to the first pops of second as you finish the roast. As it's a catimor varietal, you may need to go a fraction hotter to achieve this roast level than you usually would.