We spent the next couple of days visiting a few farms in Nueva Segovia. This was my first origin trip and I was chomping at the bit to get there. Most of the farms were within an hour from Ocotal. The first farm we visited was called La Bendicion. One thing I noticed was that the farmers and mill were very religious and a lot of their success is credited to their faith in God. La Bendicion – the blessing from God – was one such farm.
Benefiico Las Segovias is a dry mill, focused on specialty coffee and working with over 200 farms in the Nueva Segovia region. The mill is located in the town of Ocotal and owned and managed by Luis Balladeras Moncada. Luis also owns and manages some of his own coffee farms. Our tour began with an introduction to Luis. A second generation coffee man, Luis passionate about producing excellent coffee and supporting the farmers and coffee community he works with. You could easily tell Luis had a genuine care for the future of Nicarguan coffee and the local farmers. In 2010 he donated the entire proceeds from his Cup of Excellence winning coffee to a housing project in Ocotal.
I have always been a big fan of Central American coffees, I think the combination of the mild acidity and chocolate, honey and citrus flavours lend themselves well to espresso coffees, so I was really excited when asked by Smudge Publishing to be involved in their Coffee Encounters book and assist them with featuring Nicaragua.
“Now is the best time to be a barista in Australia. We have access to an ever growing array of delicious speciality coffees, and those coffees are at their most engaging and at their most revealing and through the years we have forged meaningful connections with those at the beginning of the chain, so these days as a barista, I feel like our work is not just to make beautiful coffee but also be custodian of something that someone far away began with a whole lot of care and a whole lot of dedication”
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