Nicaragua Las Delicias: Anaerobic Fermentation

$18.00

pomegranate, rainier cherry, cantaloupe

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Our Top Shelf line of coffee is a selection of limited releases designed to highlight the most memorable and thought-provoking coffees in the world. We’re thrilled to showcase two special coffees from our longtime partners Fincas Mierisch in Nicaragua.

The Mierisches collectively own several farms and also operate a beneficio, or dry mill, in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, where Eleane Mierisch is the dry mill manager, head of quality control, and producer. This coffee is one of two specially processed lots from Eleane’s Las Delicias farm in Jinotega. While each Las Delicias coffee is uniquely—well—delicious, we recommend tasting the two side by side to fully appreciate the results of different types of processing on the same coffee.

This lot is anaerobically processed, a method of wet-fermenting coffee in an oxygen-free environment to control sweetness and acidity. It is then processed like a natural coffee and sent directly to dry on patios and raised beds, then rested under climate-controlled conditions, resulting in this coffee’s intense fruit sweetness and balanced, creamy body.

Notes:

  • Available exclusively in 8 oz bags
  • Top Shelf orders are roasted according to demand in limited quantities on Mondays only, in order to maximize freshness and longevity for these small batches.
  • Type

    Single Origin
  • Origin

    Jinotega, Nicaragua
  • Producer

    Eleane Mierisch
  • variety

    Javanica
  • Elevation

    1,260–1,400 MASL
  • Process

    Anaerobic Fermentation Natural

At the Source

When we visited Nicaragua last February, one of the first things we were shown was the cold room the Mierisch family had installed in their warehouse at the beneficio since the last time we had visited. They were excited to share improvements they’d made over the past year for their system for fermentation experiments. Their motivation behind the experimentation is twofold: they are a family of curious minds, and have long been interested in the potential of flavor in coffee, but they are also a group of coffee producers in a country with an unstable future. Banks and exporters are not lending to producers, and during the political crisis of the past year coffee producers across Nicaragua have worried over what could happen to the industry if customers perceive it to be risky to purchase from Nicaragua and buy less, or, worse, not at all.

Raking Coffee on a patio

Erwin Mierisch III, whose nickname is Wingo, shares both his father and grandfather’s name, works for the dry mill in a QC role, and also owns his own roasting company, Sol y Agua Café, to sell coffee locally. When we asked him about the anaerobic, low-temp lot we purchased which was grown on Eleane’s farm, he explained a little more about their desire to add value to their process: “We said we were going to create a reason for our clients to take that risk. To produce and process coffee so good that our clients would be compelled to overlook the risks. Better quality coffee and experimental processes also lead to higher prices we can obtain. With high costs of production, every additional penny counts.”

There is a risk on the producer’s side to experiments like this, though. If the coffee over-ferments, if mold shows up, or if the flavor profile turns a dark corner, it can’t be sold. So, after doing a lot of research, Erwin and his grandfather, Doc Mierisch, who is an innovator himself, borrowed inspiration from how Ice Wine is made in the US and Canada, and began working to utilize cold temperatures to control the fermentation process. The stable environment mitigates risk of mold or over-fermentation, and also contributes to a higher, more consistent success rate. This effort is only one of many ways the Mierisch family pushes toward a sustainable future. These coffees are a great example of how they are actively seeking new scientific methods and participating in the greater coffee community in almost all respects.

Drying beds at Beneficio don Esteban