In Northern Nicaragua, near the Honduras border, is a town called Ocotal. Ocotal is home to Beneficio Las Segovias, which is run by farmer Luis Alberto Ballardez. This mill, and Luis Alberto specifically, have been integral in developing and recognizing quality coffee in Nicaragua. Over the past few years, they have gained a noteworthy reputation for producing unique and beautiful coffees.
Luis Alberto runs this mill, as well as a few farms in the outlying Dipilto and Mozonte. This lot, called La Pena, is a sub-plot of his most famous farm "Un Regalo de Dios." Luis Alberto uses these sub-plots to plant different varieties and experiment with processing techniques. La Pena is where he decided to plant Yellow Catuai. After several years of experimentation, Luis Alberto decided that the best way to accentuate the natural sweetness of the Yellow Catuai variety was to use the "Miel" ("Honey") process--also known as "pulp natural". In this process, the skin of the fruit is removed but the sticky mucilage is left on to dry, and the sugars from the fruit migrate into the seed, producing a sweeter coffee. Luis Alberto also uses raised beds, and carefully monitors the coffee to ensure it is turned often, and drying evenly to preserve the quality.
We’re excited and honored to have the first production of La Pena Miel. We hope you will appreciate and enjoy Luis Alberto’s efforts, and celebrate with us his creativity and craftmanship.