Varietal: Red Bourbon
Farm: Finca Limoncillo
Producer: Mierisch Family
Process: Anaerobic Pulped Natural (honey)
Altitude: 850-1110 M
Cupping Notes: Caramel, Cashew, Citrus, Red Fruit
Description: Fincas Mierisch has a long history of producing very high quality coffees. Coffee from Finca limoncillo was awarded 2nd place in the 2008 Cup of Excellence and has been used by two top 5 finishers in the World Barista Championship.
Named after the Limoncillo (a small type of lemon) that was already growing on the farm when it was purchased, the farm was purchased in 1930 after one of the Mierisch grandfathers made the transition from attending a military academy to civilian life. Limoncillo is the 2nd oldest coffee farm in the Fincas Mierisch group (Los Placeres is the oldest). Typica was the sole varietal grown on the farm up until the mid-1990’s, but due to climate change, unstable market pricing, and vulnerability to coffee leaf rust it was decided to diversify varietals and also focus extensively on quality over quantity.
Anaerobic fermentation simply means fermentation without the presence of oxygen. We placed freshly pulped coffee into juice barrels (due to their food safe interior) and covered with a lid. It’s important to note that we made sure that the lid would seal the barrel air tight so as to prevent any oxygen from entering the barrel. The lid was modified by drilling a hole in the middle and attaching a PVC pipe and valve. Using our industrial vacuum, we sucked out most of the remaining oxygen inside the barrel. We then attached plastic hosing to the valve and connected it to a water bottle (that was punctured at the top) filled three quarters of the way with water. By leaving the valve slightly open this creates a “water seal” whose purpose is to suck out any carbon dioxide that will be produced by the coffee during fermentation. The barrels were kept inside our warehouse at a temperature of around 24 degrees Celsius for 48 hours. After fermenting, the pulped coffee is spread out thinly on our patio and is allowed to dry for four to five days under direct sunlight in order to stop the fermentation and dry up all the mucilage. After that, it’s transferred to African beds where it dries for another 10 to 12 days until reaching 12.5% humidity or below.
All farms in the Fincas Mierisch group provide child day care services for workers and have access to elementary schools. Limoncillo, however, has its own primary school on site, and its own clinic. Child labor is strictly prohibited on all farms, and children are provided free meals during the harvest. Discrimination of any kind is also not permitted on our farms. Being an UTZ certified farm, yearly training is provided in better agricultural practices to employees which has helped increase yield and cup quality while also lowering production costs.
Any water used during the wet mill processing is recycled in a biodigesters in order to make sure that it is not contaminated. The natural and honey processes use very little to no water. Additional efforts are made to preserve, and grow, non-coffee trees on the farms. Trees not only provide shade and wind reduction, which benefits the coffee plant, but they also support the local wildlife and vegetation on the farms.