Limoncillo is a farm we bought from last year in the cup of excellence. Despite its lowly 27th place in the auction I thought it was a mind blowing sample. When we bought it I looked at the producer name and thought no more about it. It was only once we had won the lot that I received an email asking if I knew I’d bought a friend of mines coffee at the auction. That friend is Ewrin who I met on my very first trip to origin, back in 2005. Erwin and his brother Stephen were really good to me looked after me and kept in touch afterwards. Our paths have crossed a few times since then and its always met with a warm hugs and a few beers.
So its a great coffee and has good people to buy it from. When I saw this one on the itinerary I was very excited about visiting it, but nothing prepared me for the size of it. Its a huge estate and a big mill too.
We started with a trip to the mill and here we got a chance to cup some new crop Limoncillo and the second place coe lot. This year Erwin went quite a few places better by finishing 2nd on the COE competition with an experimental lot of seed from Java. We also got to try some other coffees that were really good quality and showed lots of promise.
From here we went to spend some time at Erwins house where I got to meet his Farther (who owns the set up), and sat by the pool eating mangos from the tree in the garden (and they were lovely). A very nice way to spend lunch. But it was all back onto the bus to go to the farm. But not for too we had to swap to the 4 x 4 cars as the terrain got too much.
I’ve leant that these cars really do get used to there maximum and it makes me laugh about the “chelsea tractors” back home.
A “short drive” (I’ve found in Nicaragua that a short drive can be anywhere between 1 and 4 hours) we arrive at the farm.
As you can see from the photos its a very beautiful farm ad perfectly maintained. Then a big truck arrives that takes us around the farm. On the farm they have been trying to use things around them to look after the environment. the latest one has been to install a hydro electric pump to create some electricity for the farm workers. Enough for some lights and a TV (which they have never had here) and some warm water. I think its a great way of letting the land work for you.
We then went tracking up a huge hill to see the wonderful sights yo see below. It was amazing and very special to be right amongst the trees and in the thick of it.
Then the best bit until last, they hydro electricity comes from the water supply on the farm and just after the power station part, there is a water fall. I managed to get myself in as much as I could without getting soaking, just something I’ve always wanted to do.
The time came to leave which was sad, but I was keen to see where we would be placing our roots for the next two days. Our host was to be Roberto Bendaña, whom I know from my Cup of Excellence board member duties (he is the current chair of the board of directors). Roberto is a really nice guy who knows how to get things done and is a forward thinker (more on this in the next post).
The place is fantastic, and we get treated to some lovely food. Its then time to see where we will sleep. I’m an only chld so I dont think I ever shared a room with four men before. I like my space so the next few days will be challenging. We have one bathroom between the 8 guys, and the tummy bug has spread around so the next two days will prove interesting. But the bunk beds are amazing with Roberto only just getting them made in time for us coming. They are so big and chunky and strong, the carpenter who has put these together is a real craftsmen.
After a long day I get an early night and look forward to only the second time in my life I’ll wake up on a working coffee farm. Some of the others in the group stop up and have some drinks and play cards but I’m not quite up to that yet after feeling not so good.