We traveled to Nicaragua in December and fell in love with the people, the culture, and the food. Read about our trip and find out why we think this is one of our favourite regions in Central America.
Chris and myself along with Nan & Gerry (of Good Earth Cafes) just finished visiting the Meirsch family in Nicaragua. Together we toured Matagalpa and Jinotega to see their 5 unique coffee estates, each show casing a different cup characteristic that stand out from one another.
The Merisch family is a 3rd generation coffee family that currently evolves 2 generations, with a 3rd (or the 4th in total) not far behind. It was easy to see how close this family is to one another and how important family is to them. When staying at Erwin Merisch’s Seniors home, you were always in the company of his siblings and wives, their children as well as cousins. We certainly didn’t feel like outsiders either, as we were welcomed with open arms.
Fratello just returned from another origin trip to continue our expansion and work with developing our Direct Trade coffee program. As we have mentioned before, our goal is to source our coffee this way when ever possible. It is a work in progress which will also include increased selections of Rainforest Alliance, Organic and Fair-trade Organic coffees. Direct Trade allows Fratello to source the best and most unique coffee lots before they are sold and blended with other lots at Cooperative which most farmers use. Through this practice Fratello pays our farmers 25%-35% more than what Fair-trade premiums would have paid them.
This time it was Russ, Jason and Angela Prefontaine who traveled to Nicaragua to visit Erwin Mierisch and his family. What an amazing journey this was. It was not only educational visiting 5 different farms in Matagalpa and Jinotega, but it was terrific getting to know Erwin better. We had the pleasure of touring around with Erwin, his cousin Ricardo Oliu and Erwin's father, Erwin Mierisch Senior who was a gracious host and a pleasure to be around. We also had the pleasure of meeting Erwin's sister Maria and Erwin and Ricardo's wives. The Mierisch family has been cultivating these farms for 3 generations (Since mid 30's).