The estate at Catalan de Las Mercedes was founded in 1851 by Francisco de Rosal Marquez, who originally named his rice, coffee, and cotton farm "Las Mercedes Lo de Catalan." The 300-hectare land was kept in the family, passed from generation to generation, even after it was split among siblings as an inheritance.
In the 1990s, it was inherited to Don Francisco's fourth great granddaughter, Ruth Maria de Los Angeles Martinez, and now her son, 29-year-old Nicolas "Nico" Martinez, is taking the lead on many of the innovations that have led the farm not only to win the CoE in 2012, but also to build and manage a micromill on the property, which allows for quality control, experimentation, and increased access to milling services for other farmers in the area.
Coffee to Water Ratio
Using the correct amount of coffee will ensure that your coffee is brewed to strength, without over-extracting or under-extracting the coffee to compensate for an inappropriate dose. We recommend 2 grams of coffee for every fluid ounce of water used to brew. Weighing coffee is the most accurate way to measure the appropriate dose. If a scale is not available, we recommend 2 heaping tablespoons of ground coffee for every 5 ounces of water used to brew.
Producing the correct particle size in ground coffee is one of the most important steps in coffee brewing. In general, a finer grind will produce a more intense brew and a coarser grind will produce a less intense brew. At the same time, a grind that is too fine will produce an over-extracted, astringent brew, and a grind that is too coarse will produce a weak, under-extracted brew lacking flavor. In pour-over methods, grind size also affects the rate of extraction, as water will pass more slowly through a finer grind, and more quickly through a coarser grind. We strongly recommend burr grinders over blade grinders.
Water Temperature and Quality
Water temperature dramatically affects the extraction of coffee’s flavor during brewing. We recommend brewing with water at 200° Fahrenheit for best results. Using fresh, clean, chlorine-free water is essential.