This is our second year featuring coffee from Beneficio Las Segovias, a washing station and dry mill in Ocotal, Nueva Segovia, Nicaragua. Luis Alberto Balladarez is Las Segovias’s owner/operator, an industry veteran with deep and widespread connections to coffee producers throughout northern Nicaragua. This year, we purchased one of Luis Alberto’s multi-farm blends, representing six producers from the regions of Diplito, Jinotega, Matagalpa, and Nueva Segovia. This selection was initially assessed and introduced to us by our importing partners, The Coffee Quest, and presents a sweet, nutty, cozy flavor profile that will beautifully bridge the summer and fall.
Luis Alberto’s name has long been widely recognized and respected among coffee professionals. He has produced several lots that have earned the prestigious Cup of Excellence quality distinction, while continuing to experiment with eccentric processing techniques and varieties, and most importantly, sustaining equitable market access for thousands of coffee producers throughout Nicaragua. Luis Alberto’s mix of pragmatism, industrial efficiency, and sheer talent is noteworthy in any industry, but in coffee, this ensures that a huge range of roasters can find something from Las Segovias that suits their menu, and we are proud to have done so again in 2021.
Beyond the accolades, the anecdotes that capture our attention and affection for Luis Alberto are the ones that reveal his persistent, vaguely cynical, tireless curiosity and attention to detail. Whether altering the mineral composition of water to prove how drastically it can alter one’s perceptions of the same coffee, or determining precisely how much pre-picking nitrogen fertilizer compromises the final stages of cherry maturation, Luis is always pushing himself and his practices to stay sharp and sensational. In addition to the results in the cup, this is what sustains the incredible amount of trust that both his farming and roasting partners associate with his name and with Las Segovias.
In the cup, we taste pecan, caramel, and cocoa.