On our origin trip to Nicaragua, we were blessed to have the opportunity to visit Luis Alberto Balladárez's, the farm's owner and operator. Finca La Esperanza is nearly twenty-two manzanas in size, equivalent to 1.75 acres, and is planted with Red Catuai and Caturra varieties. Luis has made a considerable investment in a wet-mill on the property, located directly in between La Esperanza and his neighboring farm, Un Regalo de Dios.
Luis Alberto's, Finca La Esperanza sits high in the Mozonte mountain region of Nicaragua, near the northern town of Ocotal. This area's landscape is beautiful, planted amid a high-elevation pine forest with the feeling surprisingly as northern California.
After the finca's harvest, the coffee cherry is de-pulped and traditionally fermented. When rinsing the coffee, Luis intentionally allows the slightest bit of mucilage to remain on the beans, contributing an elevated sweetness to the coffee.
The majority of Luis's drying patios are covered with taut black breathable fabric, instead of the traditional raw concrete. The coffee is spread out on the nets about eight inches deep in order to slow the drying process. Toward the end of the drying process the coffee is thinned out to nearly two inches deep. He believes a slower drying process produces a superior coffee. The care Luis takes throughout processing is evident in the cup.