Nicaragua: Edition 24.008

Finca San Jose

  • Flavour profile Caramelised biscuit, black tea, orange, floral
  • Process Washed
  • Varietal Java
  • Roast Medium


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  • Fincas Mierisch or (basically) the Mierisch family have been incredible friends to us over the years and actually helped us move our very first full container of coffee into the UK many, many years ago. Today, we buy from a range of their farms and they're internationally recognised for the quality of the coffee they grow, their exceptional processing, and the variety of coffee varieties they work with.

    We first bought coffee from Finca San Jose via the Los Favoritos auction during a year when the Nicaraguan Cup of Excellence didn't happen. Without the usual nationwide Nicaraguan auction, there was a bit of a gap left and so the Mierisch family stepped in with a competition of their own where they offered auction lots which were the top ones from their nine farms; different plots, varieties, processing methods, picking days, all the usual specialty coffee fun! Thanks to this auction we came across Finca San Jose and it was our favourite of all the Los Favoritos so we went out and won it, then spoke to the family about getting our mitts on more of the coffee the following year, and we've had it every year since. It's always been a small lot as the Java variety doesn't tend to be very high-yielding, so we don't expect this one to hang around for long.

    Finca San Jose was originally acquired by the Mierisch family in November 2003 and back then it was completely abandoned, and due to its inaccessibility, then ended up being a work in progress for many, many years. It's up in a chain of mountains that marks the border of Jinotega and surrounds the skirts of Apanas lake at 1,300-1,400 metres above sea level. San Jose overlooks another farm you'll likely have heard of before - another long-time Hasbean favourite farm 'Escondida', this is kind of funny as Escondida means 'hidden', but to be fair you do have to hike all the way up to the highest point on San Jose to be able to see Escondida!

    It's an incredibly beautiful farm with amazing views that are well worth the off-road trek up the mountain to gain access. Dr. Mierisch said that he may build himself a small house on the farm to retire to one day: "overlooking the coffee plants and Lake Apanas in the background sounds like a dream come true" - what an amazing place to retire to!

    The variety of this coffee is Javanica also more commonly known as Java and/or Longberry. It's believed the origin of the varietal comes from the name "Ethiopian Longberry" as the plant stock likely originally came from Ethiopia and visually, the beans are longer than most other coffees - simple!

    The Java name comes from it originally being introduced to the island of Java from Ethiopia by the Dutch back in the 19th century. The plants are not particularly high-yielding nor resistant to diseases like leaf rust but offers very high cup quality - it's a bit like Geisha (and definitely shares some taste similarities too) if it decided to start having Weetabix for breakfast!

    We often see most of our Java/Longberry coffees come from Nicaragua being called 'JavaNic' and that comes from a fun story involving Erwin Mierisch back in the day. The original seeds for all Java/Longberry that's planted on Mierisch farms were purchased on the side of the road from a worker of a recently closed down UNICAFE experiment station - they'd been paid for their final days of work in seeds and shovels as the station had no more money left and were looking to turn them into cold hard cash. Erwin purchased a 20kg bag of seeds labelled JAVA (and a selection of used shovels) and then somewhat forgot about the whole thing for a while until his Dad ended up showing the bag of seeds to their then-supervising agronomist Ing. Patricia Contreras, who it turned out had worked at that research station before it closed, and she was ecstatic. She told them about how great this coffee was, but also that it was not very productive nor resistant to disease, as she recalled from running studies on it at Juanetillo (the closed coffee research station) back in the '80s.

    They planted the seeds on some small plots of land on their farms and started learning how to care for this new-to-them variety of coffee. Fast forward to today and it's now a common (if low-yielding) sight across many Mierisch farms and has even been grown in Bolivia thanks to a coffee-producing friendship with our Bolivian partners the Rodriguez family!

    Starting with a sweet layer of caramelised biscuit, this coffee shifts to gentle black tea as it cools. On the finish, you'll notice sweet orange alongside delicate florals for a complex cup.

    • Country: Nicaragua
    • Department: Jinotega
    • Community: Lipululo
    • Farm: San Jose
    • Farm Manager: Jorge Luis Mendez
    • Coffee growing area: 46 hectares
    • Elevation: 1,250-1,400 m.a.s.l.
    • Harvest Months: December-March
    • Diurnal Temp. Cycle: Avg High 21ºC, Low 15ºC
    • Protected Rainforest: 3 hectares
    • Varieties Grown: Java, Red Pacamara, Red Catuai, Red Bourbon, Ethiosar
    • Processing method: Washed
  • Tasting notes: Caramelised biscuit, black tea, orange, floral.

    Cup of Excellence Cupping Scores

    • Clean cup: (1–8): 6.5
    • Sweetness: (1–8): 6.5
    • Acidity: (1–8): 6
    • Mouthfeel: (1–8): 6
    • Flavour: (1–8): 6.5
    • Aftertaste: (1–8): 6.5
    • Balance: (1–8): 6.5
    • Overall: (1–8): 6.5
    • Correction: (+36): +36
    • Total: (max. 100): 87

    Roast Information
    Medium: Through first crack and slow it a little in the gap, but finish the roast before second gets going.

  • If you place an order before 07:30, it will be roasted and dispatched that day. If you order after 07:30, it will carry over to the following working day for roasting.

    We offer free UK mainland delivery on all orders over £50.00. One bag sent with First Class postage will cost £3.50, and one bag sent with Second Class postage will cost £2.00. DPD next working day delivery is available for a flat rate of £6.00 for all orders up to 10kg.

    If you would like to enjoy free delivery on orders under £50.00, make sure to check out My Hasbean Rewards.

    For more information about delivery, please visit our Help Centre.

Finca San Jose

The San Jose farm was acquired in November 2003. At the time it was completely abandoned, and due to its inaccessibility it's been a work in progress for many years. It's up in the chain of mountains that marks the border of Jinotega and surrounds the skirts of Apanas Lake, to 1,300-1,400 meters of altitude.

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