Nicaragua La Esperanza Natural
Nicaragua is a rather new country within specialty coffee. Political, economic and also environmental (e.g. hurricanes) disturbances and instabilities kept the country from moving into the specialty market any quicker. The pioneering work of some families with a clear vision on producing quality coffee supported by e.g. the Cup of Excellence annual competition created the necessary awareness for growing specialty coffee among Nicaraguan coffee farmers.
One of the families that has been very supportive for the growth of specialty coffee in Nicaragua is the Balladarez family. Based in the Nueva Segovia region ‘Las Segovias’, as their company is called, produces coffee at multiple farms and operates their own dry-mill close to the city of Ocotal. Luis Alberto Balladarez Moncada (4th generation) is the general manager and overlooks the activities of Las Segovias with care. He takes every detail of the coffee production very serious and the effort and hard work that goes into the creation of great specialty coffee is truly heartwarming to see.
Finca La Esperanza is located in the Dipilto-Jalapa mountain range in a part called La Quisuli Arriba close to the town of Mozonte and one hour from the town of Ocotal. This mountain range in the north of the country (close to border with Honduras) creates a nice environment to grow high-quality coffee. At La Esperanza coffee grows between 1500 and 1680m in a sandy loam type of soil. Guava trees provide the necessary shade. Harvest season at the farm starts in March and ends in May.
All the hard work of the Balladarez family at their farms and dry-mill resulted in winning the Cup of Excellence 2018 with a very fine natural Pacamara from one of their other farms ‘La Bendicion’!