A single farm coffee from the Mierisch family with a true Pacamara profile. Very sweet in the cup, with hibiscus floral notes, a bit of jasmine too, berry fruit notes, and an unusual hint of sweet tobacco. The finish is spicy sweet, with a bit of clove and cinnamon bark, like mulling spices. In the long finish, it turns minty on the palate. Full City to Full City+.
Pacamara in itself is an oddity, easy to grow but difficult to pulp, and to dry. The huge size of the grain requires readjustments to all the equipment in the coffee mill, and special care in fermentation, washing, and frequent rotation on the drying beds. Pacamara is a distinct cultivar, the name formed to express the fact it is a cross of Maragogype (the huge bean varietal) with the Pacas type, a natural hybrid from El Salvador. Maragogype is called the "elephant bean" for its incredibly large size, and is a spontaneous variation of Typica. Now, bean size per se has nothing to do with cup quality: a bigger seed doesn't make a better cup. But the argument for Maragogype and Pacamara is that the tree produces fewer cherries and flavor is more concentrated. I have tasted some very bland Pacamara that was lower grown, so this isn't always true. On the other hand I have had some coffees that had outstanding cup qualities, surpassed all the rival samples in blind cupping, and just happened to be Pacamara. Pacamara definitely has varietal character of an exotic nature. Pacamara coffees are often pooled from a small region of growers, since each independently would not have enough to form a lot. This is a single farm coffee from Nicaragua, originally called La Minita for the grandmother of the Mierisch family who was called "Little Mina". But La Minita is "taken" now, referring to the famous Costa Rica farm. So they have changed the trade name for the coffee to Mama Mina to avoid confusion. We usually buy a combined lot of the Pacamara Peaberry from the Mierisch family, but this year I felt this single-farm flatbean lot was a better cup. The dry fragrance has a burly sort of sweetness, unusual because I get a slight hint of sweet peas in it! Sounds strange, but it's some of the unusual notes you find in Pacamara coffees. The wet aroma has a touch of lavender, lemon grass; an herbal tea infusion character. It's sweet in the cup with a rustic overlay of flavors, hibiscus floral notes, a bit of jasmine too, berry fruit notes, and an unusual hint of sweet tobacco. The finish is spicy sweet, with a bit of clove and woody cinnamon bark, like mulling spices. In the long finish, it turns minty on the palate. It's a strange mix of flavors, and these can be attributed directly to the oddness of the Pacamara varietal itself.