La Bendición Farm, Nicaragua

La Bendición Farm, Nicaragua

from 16.00

Region: Las Segovias
Processing: Honey processed (pulped natural)
Altitude: 1450 meters
Varietals: Pacamara
Certifications: None.

Our Tasting Notes

The cup is gently fruity, herbal, and balanced. The mouthfeel is light and the flavor subtly sweet like red apples and tangy. The finish is milk chocolate and malt with a slight dryness.

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La Bendición is owned by Luis Balladarez. We visited Luis in March of 2013 and tasted nearly 60 lots from farms Luis owns as well as some from his neighbors. While we cupped several this year from another of Luis's farms, Regalo de Dios, this particular lot from La Bendición outshone the rest. Luis's farms are located on the top of La Cordillera de Dipilto y Jalapa, the mountainous north of Nicaragua, which holds its highest mountains. The chain splits northern Nicaragua from Honduras and alters the climate significantly. The town of Ocotal, where Luis lives and where the dry mill, Las Segovias is situated, sits on the southern side of the range. The climate in Ocotal is nearly desert dry: scrub brush and the desiccated trees of the Dipilto-Jalapa pine forests belie its tropical environment. The rainless climate makes drying coffee easy. One only has to cross the top of the cordillero, however, to find the lush green of the Pacific tropics; and here, Luis’ coffees grow. His farms are subdivided by cultivar: one area for red Catuai and one for yellow; one for Maragogype, another for Pacamara. The commercial, higher yield varietals grow at lower altitudes, the specialty, lower yields at higher altitudes. Precarious paths cut through the fields and as we walk, sampling the taste of the fruit as pass, our guide points out lizards, spiders, snakes, and squirrels. The canopy above us protects the shade loving coffee trees from direct sun. Pickers are hard at work when arrive and, aside from a lunch break, still at work when we leave.

La Bendicion features a floral nose with tropical fruit flavors complicated by herbal undertones. In the cup, the light mouthfeel is allows a melange of subtle fruits to emerge: sweet melon, brown sugar, and pineapple. This lot is honey or miel processed (AKA pulp natural). That means that while the fruit is separated from the beans, the mucilage remains and is allowed to dry on the beans. The beans are sun dried on raised African beds for 10-12 days. As the cup cools, notes of grape juice comes out. The whole cup has undercurrents that constantly shift, however, and the flavors present are as varied as one can hope for. This is a coffee to sip and savor.