The small lot selected for CoE, but never was submitted! Guatemala-like brightness, a very well-structured coffee with sugar cane sweetness, mild floral and fruit tones, strawberry and pear, caramel, a piney note, great "spine". City+ to Full City+.
Mama Mina is a farm in Matagalpa that was called La Minita for years ... but alas that name is already taken in the world of coffee by the very famous Costa Rica farm. The name is in honor of grandma Mina McEwan of the Mierisch family, who own the farm (as well as the Finca San Jose Java coffee we offer). The farm is ensconced in beautiful forest in all directions, and ranges from 1250 - 1400 meters. They keep the shade trees on the farm well-trimmed because cloud cover in the area makes for a rather moist micro-climate, and deprives the coffee trees of some needed sun. The farm is planted mostly in Caturra cultivar, with some Catuai as well. This was actually a small lot that they were planning to submit to the coffee competition, but because Erwin Mierisch works for the Cup of Excellence, they decided to avoid conflict and offer it to me. We offered a good price, above the normal Mama Mina price, because it was a specially selected lot. I have cupped Mama Mina in the past, but never had a cup quite like this before. Everything about this coffee says "classic Central America cup character" to me. This is not a flashy cup, but as a Nicaragua with this well-structured, balanced flavor profile, it is indeed a rare thing. The dry fragrance has ample sweetness, cane sugar notes, mild floral and fruit hints. The wet fragrance has a real bloom of floral and fruited (strawberry) sweetness, but not fruity like a dry-process coffee at all. Lighter roasts have pear fruit notes, caramel sweetness, with a moderate acidity that gives it definite "spine", and attractive, syrupy body. It's an approachable flavor profile, not screaming bright, rather restrained in fact. The sweetness and sense of a "complete" cup, are both clear in this coffee. It holds up well to darker roast treatments, with a more sweetly resinous flavor emerging, slightly piney, rounded mouthfeel, but a little thinner in the aftertaste. Overall, it's a quality of cup that is rarer in Nicaragua than you might think, something more akin to a classic top-notch Guatemala than other Nica coffees.