Jack (CEO) and Dismas (Head Roaster) are on a coffee buying trip to Central America. These are notes from their journey.
Feb 9, 2015
This day started just like every coffee buying trip: early! We woke at 4:00am, went straight to the airport and, after a long day of travel, we finally arrived in Managua at 10:00pm. We grabbed our bags and jumped into a shuttle, which literally drove across the street to our hotel. Dismas and I headed to the bar for the customary piña colada, then were off to bed.
Feb 10, 2015
We got up early with a nice breakfast and jumped into the Mierisch shuttle, which drove us to Beneficio Don Esteban. This is where all Fincas Mierisch farms deliver their coffee for dry processing. Eleane, the daughter of Dr. Erwin Mierisch, is head of operations. It’s her dedication and attention to detail which keeps the farms performing year after year. She greets me with a big hug and smile: “Long time no see!” Then her brother, Erwin, and father, Dr. Erwin, come out and say hello. I know them well and hugs are passed around. This is our fourth year working with them. They take Dismas and me on a tour of the Beneficio as we discuss advancements and challenges.
At 2:30pm, we returned to cup coffees. The first table had 10 coffees (40 cups to taste). This is what it’s all about and the table didn’t disappoint! The best coffee was a sweet, tropical Javanica pulp natural that scored 89 points. Another coffee we’re thrilled with is Ethiosar, a hybrid varietal the family created from an Ethiopian, Sarchimore, and Villasarchi. It was amazing. We also bought a natural Pacamara that will be one of the most exciting coffees of the season. The next table came and although it didn’t have as many great coffees, it showed wonderful range and I purchased two more micro-lots. At 6:15pm, we headed back into Matagalpa for dinner, then hit the bed at 10:30pm. A fun but long day for sure.
Feb 11, 2015
Another early start sees us spending most of the day bouncing around terrible roads, but touring the most amazing coffee farms. We visited Fincas Los Altos, Mama Mina, and Limoncillo. Mama Mina and Limoncillo are strikingly beautiful. The minute we hit the off-road sections, we jumped in the back to stand. It’s much more comfortable and we can see so much more. It’s really fun!
After a late lunch, we head back to the Beneficio to cup some more coffees. We sampled a few coffees from a Honduras farm Erwin purchased a couple of years ago. They were early harvest, but showed very well so we are looking at getting some of those in a couple of months.
It’s late again and we have a two hour drive back to the hotel. The truck is full of people, so I hop in the back of the pickup and cuddle the luggage. We get there about 7:00pm. A quick shower and out for dinner. In bed about 11:30pm. Tomorrow we have an early flight to El Salvador, alarm set for 4:30am. (Yikes!)