Java-nica

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Java-nica

Postby Chris Kornman on Wed May 28, 2008 8:12 am

I was wondering if anyone knew anything about this varietal. I've had the pleasure of cupping a few; floral (jasmine, coffee flower) and citrus notes predominating with a black-tea-like body. I didn't know if this was a synthetic hybrid or what the parent varietals were (if there are any)...etc.
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Re: Java-nica

Postby Tim Dominick on Wed May 28, 2008 8:22 am

http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.central.nicaragua.html#nic_Java_longeberry

Thanks again to Tom for having one of the best damn treasure troves of information on the internet.
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Re: Java-nica

Postby sweetmarias on Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:10 am

Tim Dominick wrote:http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.central.nicaragua.html#nic_Java_longeberry

Thanks again to Tom for having one of the best damn treasure troves of information on the internet.


this is the story i got (and straight from erwin a few years back), but like a lot of stories, it's a story, and steve has another story, so the story has too many stories and some stories dont really support the other stories. coffee people like stories, especially the convenient ones, and unfortunately i am not immune. anyway, they now want to recast the cultivar as ethiopian ... and i am sure if they knew that 98% of java is planted in catimor they would have not made that initial associtation and the unfortunate name JavaNica. no doubt it is a longberry form, no doubt the altitude is low too. frankly i didn't get much from the COE sample. i went after no. 4 and was handily smacked down. On that subject, weren't all the Nica coe lots fairly lame? #1 was nice. I was in colombia so put in some numbers with maria to do the bidding (i.e. i didn't/couldn't get auction-fever). so happily, we didnt get anything.

thanks for the nice words too tim - i guess i see the flip side too: our site is html, things i write are nearly impossible to keep up to date, so there's a lot of flat out wrong stuff. i am slowly working on a new format for info pages that i can actually revisit and update easier, but i bet you can find errors within minutes of browsing some pages. we all do the best we can, and go with what we know at any given point, and i have always tried to put everything i know out there. i dont trust the erwin story of java nica , and thats where other errors come into play. i keep wondering what will happen when really good genotyping of cultivars comes into play. i think we are going to find out that we are all very very wrong about many things. should be fun! -t
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Re: Java-nica

Postby Estic on Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:42 am

I guess there could be a disconnect with the stories because Erwin is a much better story teller, same with jokes I can never get them quite right....also Erwin is telling his version from the 1st person and I, from the ever boring 3rd.

Here goes my version...

There was a collaboration between a few central American countries to do a study and this research/study is the reason why we have the varietals JavaNica and Geisha as we know it. Java was imported to Central America in the early 80s by the Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigacion y Enseñanza (CATIE), an agricultural research entity based out of Costa Rica running a study for the ICO through PROMECAFE. This varietal, originating supposedly from Java along with other varieties such as catimor, caturra, bourbon and different typicas including one from Ethiopia (variety now known as Geisha) were brought to all the Central American countries to be studied in order to discover better varietals for our micro climates and modernize the coffee production at that time. Unfortunately back in the 80s all of these varietals were studied based on plant productivity and resistance to the different diseases like and not limited to roya, ojo de gallo and nematodes. No evaluations were given to cup characteristics. Needless to say, and as you may well imagine, the catimor, different hybrids and caturra varieties were the most resistant and the ones that started to get implemented in different countries at that time. We are all aware of the general perceptions and cup characteristics of some of these varietals now. The organizations in charge of doing the field work of this study were ANACAFE in Guatemala, IHCAFE in Honduras, PROCAFE in El Salvador, UNICAFE in Nicaragua and CATIE in Costa Rica.

Long story short, funding was cut, they sold off seeds, my dad and brother bought some, experimented with different altitudes and there you have it.

Now that you have the “boring” version I ask Erwin to elaborate on that last sentence I wrote.


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Re: Java-nica

Postby Erwin Mierisch on Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:39 am

Howdy guys,

Were my “story” begins is back in mid 2001….I sound like a grandfather....

My father and I were coming back from visiting some top farms in Nicaragua as we sometimes do to learn from our neighbors and if worthwhile implement those things we see to improve efficiency and quality on our own farms.
As we drove past the UNICAFE experiment station Juanetillo which had gone under, a man on the side of the road flagged us down and explained to us how the experiment station had closed down and his “severance” was tools and coffee seeds since they did not have the cash to pay him. He asked if we would be interested in helping him out by purchasing these items off of him. In all honesty, I was not very happy that my father forced me to stop to see what this man wanted, therefore, was not very receptive to his offer, but purchased a bag of seeds and old beaten up shovels. I gave no thought to the 20lb bag of coffee seeds that was labeled as JAVA. My father later showed these seeds to our then supervising agronomist Ing. Patricia Contreras, which worked at that research station, and she was ecstatic and told us about how great this coffee was but not very productive nor resistant to disease as she recalled from running this study at Juanetillo back in the 80s. We planted this JAVA variety and ran some more experiments, various altitudes and processing methods, and have been learning how to manage it since.
As far as we know, and yes Tom is right, we will all learn a lot when they do genetic testing or genotyping on these varieties, the JAVA varietal has its origins from Java we suppose, because of the name and how it was labeled since the 80s. There are very limited quantities produced in Nicaragua at this time since no one else wanted to risk planting another varietal that had not been proven. As far as I know, we are the largest producers in Nicaragua with 150 bags on average from all our farms. My aunt Ethel had her first production this year from her experiment area, producing around 8 bags. Jorge Armando Chavez a family friend has produced around 20 bags per year for a couple of years now. Roberto Bendaña should have his first production next year (2009) from his one manzana experiment area.
We have not tried to re-invent this varietal or anything of the sort. We have just been researching the affects at different elevation and processing. We are limited in providing all the information that we have and have come across.
At the moment of getting certified by the Ministry of Agriculture in Nicaragua in order to produce certified seeds we took this JAVA varietal and tried to “Nicaraguanize” it a bit by naming it JavaNica while still maintaining the root name as it was known while it was managed during the original study. We could have called it Misty Mountain Mistress or what not, but did not want to deviate too much from the name as to not loose its origin. For example, As I have been told the original name of geisha or at least the name as it was handled at the start of the experiment was Kisha. Kisha is the area in Ethiopia where the geisha varietal came from. Kisha is located 37” 14’ E and 13 02N, which is about 70 km north west of Gonder town with an altitudinal range of 980-1,300 meters. The annual rainfall ranges between 765-1373mm and the annual mean max and min temperatures are about 34 and 14C, respectively. I only wish I had this type of information for the JavaNica.
The JAVA varietal as far as we can tell is a typica type coffee because of its bean shape as is the geisha. Its physical appearance is a uniform seed that is elongated. It has been described by several of our customers as an Ethiopian Long Berry type.
Kudos to Tom Owen and Scott Reed for being the first ones to recognize the quality potential of this varietal when we only called it Java and encouraged us to keep experimenting with it.
If the name of JavaNica rubs anyone the wrong way or if anyone has a suggestion to improve on this name we welcome your suggestions to change.
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Re: Java-nica

Postby phaelon56 on Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:48 am

Erwin Mierisch wrote:If the name of JavaNica rubs anyone the wrong way or if anyone has a suggestion to improve on this name we welcome your suggestions to change.


Doesn't rub me the wrong way personally but as a person who watches marketing trends and buzz words here in the US my gut instinct is that it has a sort of corporate made-up artificial feel. I'm not offering this as a criticism but just as my instinctive reaction. The use of extra capital letters in the middle of a word... or the use of a word that is half capitals and half lower case.... these are marketing devices that work well for some consumer products but not for all products.

Thoughts (and I look forward to seeing other people's ideas)

Javanica
Javnica
Java Juanetillo
Matagalpa Java
Jinotega Java
Java Matagalpa Jinotega

Yes... I did think of "Javaragua" but it really doesn't sound right - does it?
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Re: Java-nica

Postby Estic on Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:37 pm

Regarding Toms comment about us trying to change the name or recast it....

I was only commenting to Tom that I personally would like to change the name because we really don’t know exactly what it is and the name JavaNica isn’t very sexy(agreed sounds corporate). Geisha, Bourbon, Typica, they roll of the tongue so nicely, JavaNica sounds robotic.

Anyway, I have yet to discuss this with my family or anyone else growing it. I guess we could have a name our bean contest, maybe ebay the rights to name it(jk)… for now its JaVanica and we are happy other people think its quite delicious.
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Re: Java-nica

Postby sweetmarias on Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:44 pm

Erwin Mierisch wrote: For example, As I have been told the original name of geisha or at least the name as it was handled at the start of the experiment was Kisha. Kisha is the area in Ethiopia where the geisha varietal came from. Kisha is located 37” 14’ E and 13 02N, which is about 70 km north west of Gonder town with an altitudinal range of 980-1,300 meters. The annual rainfall ranges between 765-1373mm and the annual mean max and min temperatures are about 34 and 14C, respectively. I only wish I had this type of information for the JavaNica.
The JAVA varietal as far as we can tell is a typica type coffee because of its bean shape as is the geisha. Its physical appearance is a uniform seed that is elongated. It has been described by several of our customers as an Ethiopian Long Berry type.
Kudos to Tom Owen and Scott Reed for being the first ones to recognize the quality potential of this varietal when we only called it Java and encouraged us to keep experimenting with it.
If the name of JavaNica rubs anyone the wrong way or if anyone has a suggestion to improve on this name we welcome your suggestions to change.


Misty Mountain Mistress! I like it... no seriously, Java Nica is better. But if at some point there is some better information about it, and it contradicts the Java part, i think it's fair to recast it. It certainly has ethiopia longberry form, neo-typica in a way. I don't know how the tree is structured, the nodes, other things people look at for identification. By the way, we spell Geisha as Gesha because there is a Gesha and that is the origin of the seed according to ethiopia farmers i have spoken with 6°34'60.00"N , 35°28'0.00"E . Of course, I could be wrong. The form of the Java Nica is definitely more like longberry Ethiopia or Gesha than any Typica I have seen. I wonder how complex the genotype for coffee is, and whether it has been mapped?
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Re: Java-nica

Postby Daniel Humphries on Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:11 pm

Steve first introduced me to this coffee...

Not to muddy the waters... but....perhaps Nicajava ?
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Re: Java-nica

Postby R Miguel Meza on Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:01 am

It is possible that it is both an Ethiopian and Javan varietal. According to the Specialty coffee Assoc. of Indonesia there were two varietals brought from Ethiopia to java in 1928 Rambung and Abyssinia (interestingly geisha was once labeled abbyissinia, i don't think this varietal is the same but it will be fun to find out where it was originally collected)

So It could be an Ethiopian varietal via Java much the same as Geisha was an Ethiopian varietal via Kenya and Tanzania. I suspect this may also be the same Java longberry varietal that is planted in Cameroon which looks very similar in appearance and also has some Ethiopian hints in the cup.

The JavaNica was a great coffee, I can't wait until it arrives.
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Re: Java-nica

Postby Christopher Schooley on Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:21 am

I am really entralled by this thread. I just want to add my two cents in that I think JavaNica is a great name and it does roll off the tongue in its own unique way. It reminds me of a story I read once about how Englebert Humperdink chose his stage name. He (Humperdink) had read a research report done by Kodak which stated that Kodak had picked that name because the hard consonant sound resonated in consumers heads and was easier to remember. I'm pretty sure that none of this is actually true but sometimes I lie awake at night thinking about Englebert Humperdink and say outloud "Bless you, Humperdink", but then my wife and children wake up and I have to explain the whole thing to them.
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Re: Java-nica

Postby sweetmarias on Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:34 am

R Miguel Meza wrote:It is possible that it is both an Ethiopian and Javan varietal. According to the Specialty coffee Assoc. of Indonesia there were two varietals brought from Ethiopia to java in 1928 Rambung and Abyssinia (interestingly geisha was once labeled abbyissinia, i don't think this varietal is the same but it will be fun to find out where it was originally collected)

So It could be an Ethiopian varietal via Java much the same as Geisha was an Ethiopian varietal via Kenya and Tanzania. I suspect this may also be the same Java longberry varietal that is planted in Cameroon which looks very similar in appearance and also has some Ethiopian hints in the cup.

The JavaNica was a great coffee, I can't wait until it arrives.


Right -I forgot about the Cameroon ... the other issue here that maybe Erwin can clear up : why 900m? You talk about testing it at different altitudes so why is the average fairly low (or let us know more details about what altitudes it is planted at, especially at the newer plots.
I remember when Scott introduced me to this coffee, and it seemed so unusual. You may not know that I showed it to quite a few people too, but the reaction has sometimes been mixed. I think it hsa been improving every year, and the COE results show it has broad appeal. But sometimes people have simply not known what to think about it. It falls into the Pacamara situation in that way. And watch out, I have at least 5 JavaNica NicaJava Misty Mountain Morning plants here in my green house. They are around 14" so they are about, well, 4 years from production
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Re: Java-nica

Postby Estic on Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:05 pm

Hey Tom,

At this point most of the Java that we grow at Limoncillo comes from a plot or plantio call “El Mirador” and it sits at 1,110 meters. A little is below this point but most is around here or higher.

I don’t know if this answers your 900 question…the average of the whole farm is around 920 meters, maybe this is where you are getting that number. The range of the farm is approx 880 to 1200 if I recall.

Dan, Nicajava…like it. I was actually thinking about this the other day, and thought that maybe sticking to the original Java would be the right thing to do, but that may get confusing.
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