Central America Sourcing Trip 2013: Nicaragua

Fincas Mierisch!

Fincas Mierisch!

Heading south from San Salvador to Nicaragua, we boarded a bus to Sébaco near Matagalpa. We arrived late and nearly frostbitten from the unnaturally strong AC of the old, sin-wifi bus.  A kind man and employee of the Mierisch’s named Jairo brought us back to the family’s homestead near their dry mill. The next morning we met some new friends from Australia who were also traveling to source coffee and caught up with Eleane and her father about this year’s harvest.  Like many farmers in C. America, they faced challenges with the fungus ‘rust,’ which is affecting quality and yield.  Because of their aggressive pruning techniques and intensive fertilization, however, they have fared better than most.

From the house we drove up to the dry mill and cupping lab, where Erwin Jr. joined us to taste four tables full of coffees.  Two lots stood out for specific purposes on our menu: a creamy, chocolately sweet lot from Finca Placeres for our espresso blend and a vibrant, jammy lot from Finca San Jose for our single origin lineup.


Jack Kelly, Ladro CEO, at the cupping lab near Matagalpa


Eleane holds court in the lab

Dana from Zoka chatting with Erwin Sr. on the balcony overlooking the beneficio

Dana from Zoka chatting with Erwin Sr. on the balcony overlooking the beneficio

From the lab we hopped in a Hilux and headed for a much needed lunch and cerveza before winding up to visit Finca San Jose.


San Jose is a plush, vibrant farm that sits on a perch over Lake Apenas; on a clear day, beyond the lake the view is an amazing outline of mountains and rolling hills as far as the eye can see.


Our new friend Armando, a Colombian living in Australia and working for Numero Uno


View from Finca San Jose overlooking Lake Apenas


Finca San Jose near Jinotega, Nicaragua


Blossoming at Finca Escondida

We’d like to extend an extra special thanks to all the folks behind Fincas Mierisch for their hospitality and hard work.  Can’t wait to feature your coffees and celebrate your craft in our cafes in the coming months!


Erwin Jr and Sr, Jack, Eleane, Jared

Also, stay tuned for their upcoming auction: http://fincasmierisch.com/auction/

and check out their new website, full of all kinds of information: http://fincasmierisch.com/.

-Jared Linzmeier