Emily, Jeff Brooks and I did some serious slurping, spitting and sniffing of coffee (otherwise known as "cupping") at the Beneficio Las Segovias in the town of Ocotal, Nuevo Segovia in Nicaragua a few days ago. This short video gives you a look at what we did for more than an hour as we attempted to zero in on which coffee we wanted to walk away with from the finca "Un Regal de Dios" of Luis Alberto Balladeros.
A beneficio is a place where coffees are processed for roasting and prepared for exportation. A finca is simply the Spanish word for farm. Luis is a pastor and a business man. His vision for his business is very similar to what Emily and I desire to do in that they give a hefty portion of their yearly profits away to provide for a better life in the immediate community, but more importantly, to build the kingdom of God. For example, this year Luis took his profits and bought a slew of mountain worthy motorcycles for area pastors who live up in the mountains. It can take as much as a day for a mountain pastor to walk to town and back. A motorcycle that can go where cars cannot (and even where the government refuses to go) can go a long way in spreading the Gospel and meeting the needs of the people.
At the end of our time cupping we chose a coffee and then had it vacuum packed in 20lb increments so that we could transport it back to the States. We pùrchased 120lbs of what I expect will be a very popular coffee (though short lived).
These guys were very gracious as they´re used to doing this with seasoned coffee cuppers who come to their beneficio to buy large quantities. Incidentally, while we were there they loaded and shipped a 20,000lb container of Cup of Excellence winning coffees to the USA. These guys are in the big time, but their heart are for the Kingdom! 90% of their employees are born-again Christians. The atmosphere there is tremendous!
Enjoy... and put in your ear plugs!