Finca La Dalia, Nicaragua

Introducing our first direct trade single origin coffee sourced from a good friend of ours, Ernesto and his family farm in Nicaragua.

Grown in the highlands of the Penas Blancas mountain range, this area offers an abundance of resources which make it the ideal climate for growing quality coffee.

Tasting Notes: Toasted Almond, Rich Chocolate, Berries

Producer: Finca La Dalia
Department: Matagalpa
Variety: Caturra, Catuaí, Catimor
Processing: Washed
Altitude: 4,200 ft (1300m)
Cupping Score:

84

Classifications: Micro lot
Harvest: January - April

 

Origin Story told by the Producer:

Hello. My name is Ernesto Altamirano, and the founder of La Dalia Coffee. And today I’m here to tell you guys the origin of our company and our farm.

So our story started back in the 70s. My mom is from Nicaragua and during that time, there was a war in Nicaragua. So my grandma, who wanted to take her kids out of the country because of the war and what was going on.

So she went to Argentina seeking education. She went to Cordoba, Argentina, which is where my dad is from. So when she attended school, she met my dad. They met and fell in love. My dad tried different businesses when he got to Nicaragua. And then this opportunity came up where there was this coffee farm that was for sale. So my dad decides to go and check out this farm; he tells my mom. My mom is pregnant with me at the time. My mom says, ok let’s go and see what this farm is about.

So they get on this trip. It was about five hours that it took them to get to the farm. It was a very challenging trip, to the point where there wasn’t a road built to the farm. So to this stopping point, they had to get off the truck and start walking. So here’s my mom, being pregnant with me at the time, walking to this place. They get there and it’s a very remote area. And my mom looks at my dad and says, ‘you have to be out of your mind’ There’s no way we’re buying this farm’.

But my dad being the visionary that he was, he saw the opportunity. He saw the vision and he wanted to do something with that land. So he decides to obviously, with my mom’s consent and support, they both finally agree. He convinced my mom to say ok, let’s get the farm. They purchase the farm. 

Everything was great. They started growing these different coffee varieties on the farm. My dad gets all these loans, and he’s growing the coffee beautifully. Everything was going fantastic until the year 2000. This is when Brazil produced an enormous amount of coffee in the world. So the coffee world was saturated, flooded with coffee from Brazil. So the coffee price tanked. It went down to as cheap as low as $40 a bag of coffee, which was not even enough to cover costs. So we went under and my parents really didn’t know what to do at that point. Because the farm was blooming. The farm was amazing. The farm was really producing beautiful coffee, but it wasn’t worth anything.

So the bank approached and said well if you guys can’t pay us back, we’re going to just take the farm away from you guys. So in terms of about two to three years, we just started losing everything. We lost the trucks, we lost tractors, we lost all these things that my mom and my dad had worked so hard to get. So things were really really rough. Times were really really tough.

My mom found out that there’s this farmer who lost his farm to the same bank that my mom had lost the farm to, and he’s suing the bank. So my mom makes contact with this person and decides to join him on filing a lawsuit against the bank. After a long battle of 10 years, we ended up actually getting the farm back. The saddest thing from this though is that a year before we got the farm back, my mom passed away. And she passed away not necessarily because she was ill. But because she fell into deep mental depression from everything that had happened to us and our family.

So for some years, I had this very strange relationship with coffee. It was like a love and hate relationship. Like something hit me, and then I realized that that’s really my calling. Like I can really make a change and I can fix the problem, and help out the farmers, the people, the producers that work so hard. 

I started importing coffee to the U.S. And little by little, I started importing more coffee. And now we have a company that encompasses every aspect of the coffee industry of the chain. We’re so unique because we sell the coffee that we grow. My family did a fantastic job getting the coffee up and running up until the point of the exporters.  

So what I did is I took that specialty coffee and brought it from Nicaragua to the U.S. So we are getting rid of all this, what we call the middle man. And now, we’re selling directly to Bixby Coffee so they can roast and ship the freshest coffee to you, the consumer.

So what makes us so unique and so different is that our coffee comes from real people. And not just regular ordinary people. But loving people. The people that work for us at the farm are families that joyfully pick the coffee. They are there working hard to make a better living for their families. So it’s this direct connection that we are creating between the consumer and the farmer. Every time you buy coffee from Bixby Coffee, it’s helping our local community. It’s helping our families. And again, the families that work in the farms making this coffee a possibility. Awesome great tasting coffee directly to your cup of Bixby, direct from our farm in Nicaragua. 

Cheers, 

Ernesto Altamirano

La Dalia Coffee