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$20

Tasting Notes: Honey, Ginger, Raspberry and Ruby Red Grapefruit

Grown and Processed by Luis Alberto Balladerez
Location: Mozonte, Nueva Segovia, Nicaragua
Farm: Un Regalo de Dios
Lot: El Aserradero
Variety and Process: Honey Processed Bourbon
Elevation: 1700+ masl

Nicaragua Source Trip Notes

The second of our tiny fermentation-series lots from Luis Alberto Balladerez. This is a honey processed bourbon variety, in which the coffee cherry skin is removed and left to drop and ferment with much of the fruit still attached, imparting sweet fruity honey flavors to the process.

Owned and managed by Luis Alberto Balladerez, the care taken and methodology undertaken in growing and processing the coffees of Un Regalo de Dios and La Bendición are impressive by every measure. 

The exacting nature of Luis Alberto‚Äôs unwavering attention to detail is best witnessed¬† at the family‚Äôs Beneficio Las Segovias in Ocotal, Nueva Segovia‚Äôs principal city. As Atlas Coffee Importers (who set up our site visits and have a long history with the three families we spent time with on this trip) write, ‚Äúvisiting Beneficio Las Segovias feels a little like entering a sanctuary for coffee. The cupping room, drying patios and dry mill at BLS are immaculate and appear both well used and well cared for. Quality control is taken very seriously here, and every picking that Luis Alberto receives at his wet mills and dry mill is carefully catalogued and tracked through the entire process. This attention to detail, Luis Alberto‚Äôs own personality and the exquisite quality of his coffees mean that some of his farms rarely see Atlas‚Äô offer lists, if ever.‚Ä̬†1

Indeed, Luis Alberto’s unwavering calm, faith and control in the midst of a staggering quantity of operational details was impressive. Even intimidating. Just one quick example, a single covered drying area roughly a football field in size was lined with rows of screen lined racks of different lots of drying natural and honey process coffees, each with its own temperature readings, water misters so that the coffees would dry more slowly, attendants, and meticulous record keeping. Each tiny variant in the chain of processes from farm to wet mill to dry mill to cup is repeatedly probed and tweaked and tasted to see which set of variables yield the best possible cup profile. I am astounded by the knowledge and body of work that goes into these coffees. 

-Kevin McGlocklin

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