Nicaragua Finca Limoncillo Funky Natural Red Pacamara
Sour cherry, rosehip, floral
'FUNKY' I shouted, as I took my very first sip of this coffee many years ago. It's still funking along in its own funky way this year, too!
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 ...
Then you take an already super interesting varietal and add some Natural processing by a great technician who is (as he describes himself) 'mad as a box of frogs', and you end up here: one of the most complex and exciting coffees we roast, and one of my favourite naturally-processed coffees.
The staff at Limoncillo told me one year that they had a policy of turning the coffee more often than they used to. I decided that made it more 'elegant' (see the other Natural Red Pacamara we're offering here), but quite different to what I kinda remembered from their Natural processing before.
But then they told me that they had one lot which had not been turned as often and was crazier. So they prepared the sample for me to cup, and the first word I yelled out was 'FUNKY!' A coffee name and a whole processing method were born.
This is from what's now known as the Limoncillo Funky Natural process, which is very similar to the Elegant Natural process but turned less often so you get more ferment-y weirdness going on. AND I LOVE IT!
Expect sour cherries. It's big and gloopy, but with that sharp acidity. As the initial rush of cherry fades, it shifts into rosehip soup and then a little flourish of florals on the finish. This is an unmistakably different coffee.
- Country: Nicaragua
- Municipality: Yasica Norte
- Region: Matagalpa
- Farm name: Limoncillo
- Producers: The Mierisch family
- Farm size: 171 hectares
- Coffee growing area: 109 hectares
- Altitude: 1,200 m.a.s.l.
- Varietal: Red Pacamara
- Processing system: Funky natural process and sun-dried
Sour cherry, rosehip, floral
Clean cup: (1–8): 6
Sweetness: (1–8): 7
Acidity: (1–8): 7
Mouthfeel: (1–8): 6.5
Flavour: (1–8): 6
Aftertaste: (1–8): 6
Balance: (1–8): 6
Overall: (1–8): 6.5
Correction: (+36): +36
Total: (max. 100): 87
Pacamaras have a very unique size, density and structure, so don't expect them to grind like any other coffee. I find going a little finer than I normally would and allowing more time for the grinder to get its teeth into the bigger beans often leads to delicious results.
Medium to medium-dark – get it through the gap and just up to second, but the combination of uneven-ness (from the Natural processing) and the size (it's a Paramara!) means this is not a forgiving roast. So it needs to be not too fast, not too slow, not too hot and not too cold – just right.