Nicaraguita Linda

By Emma Chevalier

Nicaraguita Linda

The Mierisch Family has been farming coffee for five generations. Erwin Senior, the family patriarch, aka “El Doctor,” is a third generation farmer. Don Erwin oversees the business at large, and contributes to agronomic development and innovation at the farm level. Eleane, his eldest daughter, now oversees quality control, mill operations, client relations and sales. Eleane’s older brother, and the eldest child of the bunch, Erwin Jr., has also contributed greatly to the development of the family business, and was heavily involved in Cup of Excellence in its early years, as is Eleane today. The Mierisch family runs a tight ship, and they truly consider the entire team part of the family.


Eleane and I first met in New Orleans, back during Revelator’s inaugural year. One of the very first lots I purchased for Revelator was one of her coffees, a pulped natural lot of yellow pacamara from Finca Limoncillo. I had bought the coffee spot through a local importer, Trevor  – our late mutual friend. Trevor introduced us during one of Eleane’s visits. She was dropping her niece off at college, and was the first coffee farmer I had ever met. We have purchased coffees from the Mierisch family every year since. These coffees represent one of our longest standing producer relationships.


The past three months have been a dark and tumultuous chapter for Nicaragua. I want to be sensitive and responsible about what I say here-- but can’t turn a blind eye either. With a heavy heart, I encourage all to to spend some time tuning in to what international news coverage is available. (Al Jazeera English, La Prensa Nicaragua, and 100% Noticias are reliable sources.) Despite the present violence and repression, Nicaragua remains a beautiful country, and we are still here to offer and celebrate the wonderful coffees grown by our producer partners.


This year we have handful of coffees from Fincas Mierisch on the lineup. Washed java from Las Delicias is light, and tea like with notes of dark chocolate, lime, and delicate florals. Pulped natural pacamara from Finca Limoncillo is fruity and tropical, with big, wild flavor. Washed orange bourbon from Finca Suspiro is the backbone of Tea Cake, our seasonal summer blend. We will also soon release a small lot of bourbon from vaquero Don Jaime Molina, of Finca Montecristo.


 

My arrival: Eleane Mierisch drives too fast for her own good. On the road, we speed past three rainbows -- a storm rolls in. To the east, the sky is saturated. To the west, the setting sun.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coffee farms, surrounded by forest.

 


 

Continual, unexpected rains triggered early, unusual flowering. The rains usually let up towards the end of the year. It was still raining in February. It’s July now, and due to the early flowerings, coffee is already ripening at lower elevations.

 

Coffee cherry is picked in the morning and processed at the wet mill at night.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coffee is dried, hulled, sorted, and prepared for export at the dry mill.

 

Below are scenes from some of the farms. The landscape changes quickly. Each farm lies in a unique environment. Each has a distinct microclimate.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meadows of coffee, bordered by tree breaks, low hanging mists in the the fields.

 


 

 

 

 

Airy and bright.

 


 

 

Beneath the dense shade of the canopy.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bright darts of scattered sunlight. Layers of shadows. The forest is thick. A small, waterfall fed river runs through it.

 

 

 

Grito por Nicaragua

- by Emma Chevalier