THE STORY OF LA PRADERA
La Pradera—which translates to “The Prairies” or “The Beautiful Green Place”—is a farm in northern Nicaragua that has been in the Lovo family since the 1930s. It is now run by brothers David and Luis Joaquin, but their father started out by selecting this land at the highest part of the mountain (farmers used to get paid by volume, and coffee grown at higher elevations has higher density) and then riding his horse everyday from Ocotal to work the farm, using donkeys to transport the ripe cherry up and down the mountain. Things are a little easier today, but the Lovos still do all of their own wet & dry milling, even using antique equipment to process the coffee in Ocotal, a desert town where they live right off the main square. They also have a ranch with cattle and horses where they grow avocados, cashews, figs, coconuts, maracuyá, cactus, grapes and papayas.
As you travel to La Pradera from Ocotal (about 11 miles, or a 40-minute drive up the mountain) the scenery changes dramatically, from cactus and brush to flowering coffee plants and lush forest. The farm is planted exclusively with Caturra and Catuai varieties, and everything is processed as washed coffee. The Lovos then perform exacting visual inspections and remove any beans that are malformed or discolored. We’ve been working with this family since 2012, and they now dedicate the majority of their production to specialty coffee, a commitment to quality that comes through in the cup with sparkling clarity.
Luis Joaquin has two children attending the University of Florida (his daughter was our Green Coffee Buyer’s translator on his first trip) so it will be interesting to see how this family affair continues with each new generation, but for now we’re happy to offer you this truly remarkable coffee which is a staff favorite year after year.