Episode 574: Nicaragua Finca Limoncillo Washed Red Pacamara Peaberry
I've been telling the story of Hasbean and Finca Limoncillo for many, many years now. I don't intend to stop any time soon because it's such a big, big, big relationship for me. 😊
So much of where we are today has come from this relationship. I'm really proud of everything that's happened in the past, and super excited for where we can go in the future.
Our relationship with Finca Limoncillo began in 2007, and back then we were buying their delicious coffee as part of a buying group. I loved it from the very first time I cupped it, and it was a coffee I just had to get. It was only after the auction closed that I discovered it was owned by a family in Nicaragua who were already good friends of mine, and indeed probably the only people I knew from the whole country!
The following year I visited the farm with our importers, and I spent the whole trip begging them to bring the coffee into the UK for us. Eventually, thanks to my supreme Steve pester power, they caved in (probably just to stop the flow of emails and phone calls!) and kindly did so.
This setup worked well for a time, but we received notice a couple of years ago that the importers were not going to be buying the coffee again (and for reasons other than the cup quality). This led to some frantic phone calls and a thorough search down the back of the sofa for loose change to fund buying twelve months’ worth of coffee all at once. There were many, many obstacles in the way of doing this deal, but we were lucky in that we were able to pull everything together in a very short amount of time.
The upside of all of this is that we now work directly with Finca Limoncillo instead of going via anyone else, and this is a relationship I’m super happy to have. This coffee has gone from a one-off Cup of Excellence buy to a fantastic long-term relationship that I'm so very proud to have.
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. The information continues to prove to me that good people grow good coffee.
This is a Pacamara varietal coffee. Pacamaras are a little crazy on the cupping table. Pacamaras are exciting. I like Pacamaras! I could ramble on about Pacamaras for a while ... oh, wait a minute, I did! If you'd like to know more about this fantastic varietal, make sure to have a look at the article I wrote ...
As well as being a big ol' Pacamara, this is also a lil' ol' Peaberry; a thing that's normally big is a little smaller than you might expect. It's an interesting mix of unusual sizing that I hope you'll enjoy.
Normally the seed of the coffee fruit grows into the green bean that we all know and love from two fertilised seeds inside each fruit, but sometimes things are a little different and a Peaberry is born. When only one of the two seeds is fertilised, it produces a smaller bean that looks like a shrunken version of what we'd normally know as a coffee bean, and that's because only one seed has grown instead of two.
Some say Peaberry coffees are sweeter and more delicious than their regular cousins; some people even come to us specifically looking for these coffees because they crave them so much! I'll let you be the judge.
This reminds me of a Custard Cream biscuit - super sweet with a hint of vanilla in the background. There’s just a shoulder of hops in there too, along with a delicate orange acidity which balances it all beautifully.
Clean cup: (1–8): 6.5
Sweetness: (1–8): 7
Acidity: (1–8): 6
Mouthfeel: (1–8): 6.5
Flavour: (1–8): 7
Aftertaste: (1–8): 6
Balance: (1–8): 6
Overall: (1–8): 6
Correction: (+36): +36
Total: (max. 100): 87
Medium to medium-dark - through first and try to keep a steady increase in temperature, looking for the very first pops of second on the drop, no more!
Pacamaras have a very unique size, density and structure so don't expect them to grind like any other coffee. As this is a Pacamara peaberry they're different even to normal Pacamaras too #tricky
I find going a little finer than I normally would + allowing more time for the grinder to get its teeth into the bigger beans often leads to delicious results. Not quite as far as you'd push your grind for a regular Pacamara but still make sure to tweak what you're doing to help this coffee show off it's natural awesomeness.
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