Nossa Familia's 2024 Coffee Tour

Nossa Familia's 2024 Coffee Tour

Our Direct Trade Partnership in Nicaragua

Last month Nossa Familia wrapped up our 2024 Coffee Tour to Nicaragua. Our annual trips are an immersive opportunity for our team and coffee enthusiasts to travel to the origin to see where our coffee is produced, meet the people who make it, and experience the beauty of the country where the coffee is grown.
Nossa Familia Nicaragua Coffee Tour 2024

PHOTOS: (1.) Members of Nossa Familia's 2024 Coffee Tour visiting Bayardo Reyes (far right) owner of Finca San Jose de las Nubes coffee farm (2.) View of the valley below the farm

Visiting the source allows for a deeper understanding of coffee production and the opportunity to foster meaningful connections with the people who produce it. For Nossa Familia, these trips are not just about exploring origins but also about nurturing connections with our suppliers, partners, and customers, aligning with our mission to create positive relationships locally and globally. Nossa Familia started sourcing coffee from Nicaragua and Guatemala in 2015 and since that time, we’ve made it a priority to fully fund trips for 3 to 5 of our staff to travel to these origins. We also encourage our wholesale partners and customers to join us on these trips. Face-to-face meetings with our coffee partners have strengthened our direct trade relationships, ensuring transparency, sustainable prices, and mutual understanding. These interactions enable us to honor our farmers by sharing their stories responsibly while delivering exceptional quality coffee to our customers.

Finca San Jose de las Nubes

PHOTO: Shade coffee growing in the cloud forest of Finca San Jose de las Nubes, Matagalpa, Nicaragua

Visiting Bayardo's Coffee in the Clouds
During this year's trip to Nicaragua, our group explored the Matagalpa region, home to our long-standing partner, Bayardo Reyes, and his farm, Finca San Jose de las Nubes (San Jose Farm of the Clouds). At an elevation of 1,200 meters above sea level, the farm is nestled among the clouds, where ideal growing conditions, including high altitude, persistent fog, and volcanic soil, contribute to the production of exquisite shade-grown coffee.

Our history with Finca San Jose dates back more than a decade to 2012 when Nossa Familia's founder, Augusto and Bayardo connected at SCAA in Portland, laying the foundation for a strong and lasting partnership. Since our first visit to Bayardo's farm in 2013, we've purchased more of Bayardo's coffee each year.

Bayardo and Augusto, Nossa Familia's Nicaragua Direct Trade Coffee Partner

PHOTOS: (1.) Ripe coffee cherries at the farm. (2.) Bayardo Reyes, owner of Finca San Jose with Nossa Familia's founder Augusto Carneiro (3.) Depulped coffee drying at the farm.

As the farm and our company have grown, Nossa Familia has been able to contribute to projects that have helped to improve living conditions for the coffee farmers and their families, like building a greenhouse, providing solar-powered lights, and funding improvements to the farm's communal kitchen through proceeds from our Festa Holiday Blend.

During this year's visit, we were thrilled to witness the significant progress at Finca San Jose de las Nubes. The communal kitchen, now equipped with a new cook stove, improved ventilation, and a newly added school room for the farm worker's children, were a testament to the impact of our support. The new cook stove utilizes the dried husk or parchment layer from coffee beans as a smokeless fuel source, making the cooking process safer while repurposing a coffee byproduct.

Additionally, we were excited to see other advancements, such as the installation of electrical poles and the substantial improvement of road conditions. The roads, previously rendered impassable by heavy rains, now allow for easier walking and the transportation of coffee by truck, a significant upgrade from the previous reliance on donkeys to transport heavy bags of green coffee to the market for miles. 

Communal Kitchen and Stovetop at Finca San Jose Nicaragua Coffee Farm

PHOTOS: (1.) The communal kitchen, now equipped with a new cook stove, improved ventilation, and a newly added school room (2.) The new cook stove utilizes the dried husk or parchment layer from coffee beans as a smokeless fuel source.

Understanding Coffee’s Complexities 
Without visiting a coffee farm, it’s hard to have a full appreciation for everything that it takes to produce a quality cup of coffee. Coffee, being an agricultural product, is significantly influenced by weather patterns, climate change, and the availability of labor. In a country where over 600,000 Nicaraguans have recently emigrated to the US and other Central American countries, sourcing workers for the coffee harvest poses a genuine challenge. This year when we were visiting Finca San Jose de las Nubes, there was a week-long cycle of heavy rains, which expedited the ripening process for some of the coffee plants. Bayardo let us know he had to hire an additional 30 people to help with the harvest, in addition to the 25 workers that normally harvest coffee. When asked if it was hard to find additional workers, Bayardo said, “When you treat people well, we usually don’t have problems.” After spending time on the farm, getting soaked by the rain in the cloud forest, and learning more about the economic impacts of immigration, drinking a cup of coffee from Finca San Jose de las Nubes is a much deeper and meaningful experience. 

Taking Coffee to the Wash Station Nicaragua

PHOTOS: (1 - 2) Coffee farmers taking harvested coffee cherries to the washing station to be weighed, washed and sorted (3.) Depupled coffee beans sorted by hand for quality.

Building Long-term Trust and Collaboration 
Cultivating long-term, face-to-face relationships fosters trust and in a healthy relationship, that trust goes both ways. Bayardo trusts that we are committed to buying his coffee year after year and because of this, he feels comfortable inviting us to partner with him on farm improvements. This year we had a chance to see the communal farm kitchen that was built with the help of the 2016 Festa Holiday Blend sales. Inspired by our recent trip and discussions with Bayardo, we eagerly anticipate contributing to future projects, including updates to the farm's school.

Advancing Coffee Quality
With an established, direct trade relationship, we can see, first-hand, what our coffee origin partners are doing to innovate and increase the quality of their harvest. This year we were able to see from Bayardo’s brother Alvaro how much fun he’s had experimenting with different coffee fermentation processes after the coffee is harvested and how that will produce a unique and delicious cup of coffee. In 2023, Finca San Jose de las Nubes came in 10
th place for Nicaragua’s Cup of Excellence competition. That was their first time entering the national competition. Now Alvaro is determined to enter again and place even higher.  

The true magic of going on a coffee origin trip is shortening the distance between you and where your coffee comes from.

In a world of increased globalization, it’s easy to go through our days and not realize how many hands are responsible for the clothes we wear, food we eat and coffee we drink. The true magic of going on a coffee origin trip is shortening the distance between you and where your coffee comes from. In a sense it’s a “reality tour,” an opportunity to meet the people responsible for producing the coffee we drink. Becky Hudak who was on the trip reflected that, “I love the quality of the coffee I buy from Nossa. Actually witnessing, first hand, the whole process from growing to picking to drying really deepens my sense of appreciation. Every morning when I pour my first cup, I can see the hands and faces of those who make such a great cup of coffee possible!” 


Meet Bayardo Reyes of Finca San Jose de las Nubes Coffee Farm, Nicaragua

Giving Back to Nicaragua with our Festa Holiday Blend

Our Farms: Finca San Jose de las Nubes


Register for a Coffee Tour


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