Milk chocolate, single cream, pomegranate, cranberry.
Cerro Azul is one of the Mierisch family’s newer coffee projects in Honduras. The name 'Mierisch' might sound familiar; they have brought us Limoncillo, Escondida, San Jose and Mama Mina, to name just a few of their amazing farms.
The Mierisch family have been growing coffee for four generations, going on five, in Nicaragua. They have achieved great results with their special way of farming, and more importantly by reaching out to specialty buyers and being at the forefront of coffee development.
This farm started life as an experiment for the Mierisch family. To farm here, they went across the border of their mother country and drove six hours from their home to neighbouring Honduras.
I've spoken with Erwin a lot about why the family made this decision, and it came down to his experiences as one of the Head Judges for the Cup of Excellence competitions in Honduras. He had seen amazing potential, but he'd also seen a lack of care and attention to detail during the processing stage. This detail is vital to truly special coffee, and Erwin and his family are some of the best-qualified processing technicians I have ever met. This opportunity was a match made in heaven.
In 2011 they started the project of revitalising Finca Cerro Azul in the region of the national park, Azul Meambar. It's in Siguatepeque, Comayagua, Honduras, and is across from Finca El Cielito, Santa Barbara. The farm lies on the other side of Lake Yojoa, and is blessed with micro-climates and conditions which are familiar to the family because those conditions are similar to the ones they experience on their lands in Nicaragua.
But the soil is something else, as is the plant stock they have inherited. We were some of the first to taste the fruits of their hard work and long drives to their new farm.
Expect a little bit of cranberry before milk chocolate and cream take over. That simple, moreish sweetness is joined by a delicate pomegranate for a super balanced cup.
Community: Rio Bonito
Farm: Finca Cerro Azul
Farm managers: Francisco Escobar and Lidia Zeledon
Farm owners: The Mierisch family
Area: 135 hectares
Elevation: 1,450–1,900 m.a.s.l.
Diurnal temperature cycle: average high: 26 C, average low: 16 C
Varietal: Red Catuai
Shade: Inga and Liquidambar
Processing method: Washed
Milk chocolate, single cream, pomegranate, cranberry