Jun 8, 2021 • 51M

The Boss Barista Takeover — Coffee Consumption in Nicaragua

Ana Sofía Narvaez interviews Sara Corrales about consuming coffee in Nicaragua

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Ashley Rodriguez
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Welcome to the Boss Barista takeover!

A few weeks ago, I put a call out to coffee folks, fans, and drinkers across the globe to pitch ideas about the podcast they’ve been dreaming of making—and today we’re turning the mic over to the last in our series of guest creators. 

Because this episode is guest-hosted, I’ll leave today’s contributor to introduce herself and share more about what’s coming up. The next voice you’ll hear is Ana Sofía Narváez.

Hello amigos, welcome to Boss Barista. I am Ana Sofía Narvaez, a coffee professional from Nicaragua. This episode is part of the open call Ashley Rodriguez put out a few months back for contributors looking to make an audio story. Today on this episode, we have Sara Corrales from Finca Los Pinos, a certified organic farm in Nicaragua that is doing things differently—while having passionate women lead its production, growth, and diversification. They produce and export their own coffee, and recently started selling roasted coffee and coffee beverages within the country, too.

Sara, like many other coffee professionals (including the sons and daughters of farmers), is part of the new face of the specialty coffee industry—one that’s dedicated to promoting internal coffee consumption, a topic that’s not often covered or promoted.

Typically, we think that the best beans are exported and consumed far away from where they have been produced—and this, as Nicaraguans, makes us proud. However, in Nicaragua things are slowly changing. We are seeing more coffee shops popping up, and more people learning about the coffee we produce. We see a coffee community growing and moving away from bad coffee (or, coffee that doesn’t meet health and export criteria).

Now, here’s Sara.

Ana: Hello Sara. Thank you for joining us today. I am very glad that you are on board with this project, and that you wanted to share more about coffee production in Nicaragua, coffee culture, and your work at the farm—and your coffee shop, too.  

Welcome to this episode! 

Sara: Thanks, Ana. Thank you so much for inviting me to this project, and I really appreciate all the effort that we do together, just trying to share information, trying to share knowledge. And everything that is going on in Nicaragua. If you may, I can introduce myself.  

Ana: Sure, we can start with a short introduction about yourself, what you do, how you ended up working in coffee. I leave it up to you.  

Sara: So, I am Sara Corrales. Nice to meet you, everybody. I'm 28 years old, and from Nicaragua. I am a woman producer, marketing girl, and I am working at Los Pinos farm as the sales manager—and I am a partner of a coffee shop in Managua. And the name of the coffee shop is La Tostadería. We are working with specialty coffee, and we are trying to do different social projects on the farm. I am really involved in all that.  

Ana: So happy to hear that. So basically, you have two hats. One that is strictly related to your job at the farm and the other one at the coffee shop, right? Can you tell us a bit more about the dynamics behind each of them? 

Sara: Thank God! That is a really good question because these two jobs are at two different places. So, the farm is located in Matagalpa, in a community pretty close to a nature reserve. The name of this nature reverse is El Arenal, so the farm is located over there. And the coffee shop is located in Managua—in the capital of Nicaragua. So, I need to travel a bit. I have this crazy and busy job between two different places, and the dynamic is completely different on a farm than in a coffee shop.  

But—it is like an engagement between these two different places. For example, on the farm we just produce—not just—we produce the coffee, we produce everything that we use at the coffee shop. We use the oranges and everything that we have at the farm. We are trying to keep with this concept, that everything that is produced on the farm goes back to the farm.  

So it is the same in the coffee shop. Everything that we are trying to make in the coffee shop comes from the farm. So, the dynamic is a complete circle, if we just saw it like that. On the farm, we work 365 days a year, and at the end of the year, we receive the harvest. It is a little crazy because we only have one harvest season for the year. But that means we have to drink coffee every day because of all that coffee on the farm.  

This is like a really nice relationship, because we run the farm, we do all the processing there, we dry the coffee, and later we roast the coffee by ourselves. And later, we just go to the coffee shop and serve the cup of coffee directly to the consumer. So, if you think about it, we are involved in all the channels, in all the steps to make a really great cup of coffee.  

So if you ask me, it is a biodynamic process between the farm and the coffee shop. 

Ana: I like what you are mentioning because from my understanding what you have created is this family business, right? You have created a system where everything integrates. It goes beyond being a coffee producer, but taking it to the next level where you can process your own coffee and have the opportunity to serve your own coffee to customers in Nicaragua. Same product, different experiences, different models, but in a way integrated.  

Now that we talk about running the farm, can you tell us what a day at the farm is like? What activities are you currently doing? I know there is a lot to talk about here, but can you maybe share with our listeners what is like to be at Los Pinos?  

Sara: Yeah, ah! Every day is different. If you think there is monotony and structured days, it is not like that. Every day is something happening.  

We can’t control nature. So, what we can do is just try to maintain and work every day as we regularly do, with all our effort at the farm. 

But if you ask me, I can have a schedule—this morning I am going to be in this coffee plantation, and in the afternoon, I am going to be at another one. That is something that I understand in all these years working in coffee. My dad said something that I really appreciate, he says, “The time of the nature is not the time of the human.” And that makes sense completely to me. I am living in the city right now but even that, the farm is like 20 minutes from the city. So, we are really close to the city.  

We moved because my grandmother had a lot of health problems, so we preferred to move to the city to stay closer to the hospital, and it was a really hard decision because we have all the work that we have to do on the farm. It was a really hard decision because my grandmother lived on that farm all her life, so it was like something we needed to do.  

We wake up really early, we go to the farm, and then it depends on the kind of problem we have on the coffee plantation. For example, if it is the day we need to take the chromatography of the soil, we take the sample of the soil, and later we do all this chromatography to try to understand the soil. And later, we’ll see in the picture what the plants need, and that’s the work you need to do—trying to understand and speak with the coffee. Even if they do not have a language, they have ways to try to communicate with you. So that was like a …

Ana: No, you can continue. 

Sara: That is what we do at the farm. Later, we speak with the workers, ask how the coffee plantation is doing because we have somebody in charge of each [parcel of] land. So, it depends—like right now, we are in the harvest season. You need to wake up very early just to try to work together with the pickers, and you need to … you need to be on the farm, to just see how well everything is, trying to take the measure of the brix rate, and in that way, you can understand how is the sugar in the cherry. Right now if you ask me, it is really tough trying to explain what we do every day at the farm.

Because we have so much stuff to do at the farm. And it is not just to put something in the plantation, it is not just to put bokashi—that organic fertilizer we use—it isn't just that. It is trying to make all the systems work together. We do all the work here in the coffee plantations, and later come and take the coffee to the dry mill, and that is another job.  

If you do not stop me, I can speak about this all day.  

Ana: I think it’s great that we understand a bit more of what happens at a farm, because like you were saying, we got to get ready for the harvest. How are we going to fertilize? What is the plant telling us? We communicate with it. And like you said, there are many ways. We can look at the soil, the branches, the leaves, the cherries.  

You know, there are many factors and variables that you can consider and evaluate. And that is just before the harvest. During the harvest is the same—the flowering, the cherry development, the ripening level. And then coordinate with the pickers, the number of people you need, how can you distribute them? What works best, what lots need to be picked first, how am I going to move this coffee? 

How can I divide myself into many tasks? Or maybe lead the team, help the teamwork, because more than doing the [work]—that I understood, Sara—more than doing the work is helping the people you have with you do their best, and fulfill their tasks. And help you and your family harvest the coffee, process it, and get ready to store it, ship it, to roast it. There are many tasks, which is great! 

My next question, Sara, now that you have learned the dynamics at the farm—because you have this understanding as a coffee person, businesswoman, sales manager, and other titles and hats that you wore—has it been easy for you to translate this information to coffee consumers in Nicaragua? What has been your experience on the other side of the supply chain?  

How did you start it? What has worked? What are you doing to communicate more about the work you do at the farm with your family that in the end ends up in this amazing coffee of coffee, organic coffee? 

Sara: Yeah, right. I mean, being a producer is not easy.  

If somebody says it is, maybe this person needs to be really involved in the coffee production. Everybody tells me being a producer is not easy; that is something I understood. I saw my dad, my aunts, and my grandfather working in that, and believe me, even though I grew up in a coffee family, it was something that I saw was really, really hard, and I decided to not be a farmer at that time.  

I decided to try to finish high school and later go to university. In all that process, my dad made [a decision], something I really appreciated at that moment. We visited the dry mill, and I saw another way to work with the coffee that wasn’t in production.  

So I met this guy Julio, he was working at SOL CAFE, and I completely loved his job. He was the cupping head at the dry mill. I was really, really young—I did not really understand what is going on with coffee. I just saw this man sip and later spill the coffee, I was like, “That is gross, but looks great and cool.”

I just went directly to him and asked, “Hey can you teach me how to understand my coffee?” And he said yes, so he taught me for a couple of years. And at that moment, I understood that that was my place in coffee. Understanding my coffee, that was the first step that I appreciated in this industry. And later, at that moment I understood something too—being a producer is not easy; being a woman producer is double or triple as hard than just to be a producer.  

Ana: It is harder.  

Sara: But that does not mean that I quit. To be in that way, to be in this industry, even though I studied marketing, that does not mean that I do not understand coffee production, and that does not mean that I cannot be involved in the coffee industry. 

Sara: I feel that my generation says it is like being a producer 2.0. You are involved not just in the production. You are involved in the marketing, in the quality control, in everything. You need to be multitasking at this moment because the competition is really hard.  

So, imagine having a lot of competition, and we are not working together, even though we are a small country that produces really great coffee. We need to be the contrary to that. I understand that too.  

Now I am 28. I have more experience and I’m more mature about that. So, I understand my neighbor is not my competitor, they are my partner. So, I feel our generation is healthier about competition. And we are trying to do something that is different.

We started with cupping sessions. I understand that the way we can share information is not just to do a great job on the farm. It is to send a message of all the work we do at the farm, and trying to make spaces like this one. Or a podcast like this! Or just trying to have conversations with your neighbor.

So, we started to do cupping sessions in Managua. I just called a couple of friends and they said, “I have coffee too.” And they call me too. It’s a really great dynamic because if I call them, I know they are going to be available to do cupping sessions. If they call me, I understand that I will be available to do the cupping session. We are trying to make a community even if we don’t have all these logistics. We are not a group with a name or something like that. We are just friends that want to enjoy a really great coffee.  

That was the first step that we took. And now we are people, cupping together in the house of Claudio—if I’m not mistaken, that was the first cupping session that we did—and I understand that everybody right now, at this moment, is essential, and is part of the community that we made at that moment. And we grew up and we are more. And we have more people. And we recognize the people interested in coffee.  

At the coffee shop, we have a different type of consumer. We have the consumers that use sugar in the coffee, and this is not [me saying], “Hey! Do not drink sugar with coffee! Don’t put the sugar in there.” But it is about education, because if you know and you understand [your consumer], you are going to do that every day.  

So my job in the coffee shop is to speak directly to the barista, because they are the first person who has this face-to-face with the consumer, and if the barista understands all the work that we do on the farm, the consumers are going to understand all the work that we do at the farm.  

Of course, social media also works as a really nice tool to share all the work that we do over there. We have a voice, a presence, and we can do different stuff.  

For example, right now I know we are in COVID-19 times, but we can play with that, we are really creative. Why not do a cupping session every couple of months for example, and we can use the [COVID-19] protocol. We have the tools to make different stuff.  

I think the first is to recognize that the producer has a voice, something to share, not just about … because if you ask me about price, which is another podcast that we can do together, but it is not just about that.  

Ana: Another episode that we can do! 

Sara: Yeah sure! We should do that.  

But this is something we can speak about. If you understand all the work that the farmers do over there, you are going to appreciate what you are drinking. And you are going to recognize what you are drinking.   

So I think that is the first step: to understand. If you want to appreciate a really great coffee, why not do a cupping session? If it is your first time, it does not matter. It does not matter if you are 25 or 28 or 16 or whatever. It does not matter. Just try to taste, give that moment to yourself, and just enjoy all the effort that the farmers and the pickers and the workers did on the farm.  

I have the privilege to have this coffee shop and speak directly with the consumers. And I hope that more farmers have this opportunity, too. If you are really passionate about coffee, it is time to share it with somebody else. I think the new generation has a huge responsibility to share the message, and right now it is time.  

Ana: I completely agree with what you are saying.  

I am inspired as well. I think you are one of the many young people, and especially women, shaping our industry in Nicaragua from the production side up to the consuming side inside the country.  

That is one of our topics in a way, right? One of the things we are working on as a coffee community, because we see there is an opportunity to share, to educate people. Like you said—you started with a cupping session, but more than the cupping session, I think it is about creating safe spaces where people can just come learn, have fun, and enjoy a cup of coffee. It does not matter if you have experience or not. There is something that connects us—that is coffee.  

Let’s talk a bit more about coffee: Where did it come from, how long does it take to grow the coffee, what is the price behind the coffee, what are the conflicts or the struggles? We can talk about many things, anything! We can speak badly about the government. We can blame a lot of people. But let’s not just blame people. Let’s look at what we can do to change things, right?

And you have done it. You have done it with your friends. You are doing it! I am sure there are many more doing it as well. You start by producing great coffee, by creating a community, by seeing your neighbor as your partner and not your competitor, by creating these spaces where everyone is welcome, by not judging.  

Like you said, you have many customers. Some of them drink coffee with sugar. I think it is a mistake to judge someone who likes to drink coffee with sugar. It is more, from my perspective, it is more about, “Hey, why don’t you try without sugar? Have you done it? Can you perceive the difference?”

Just plant the seed of curiosity and open these worlds of experiences to the person that drinks the coffee. “Would you like to try it with almond milk, not just regular milk?” I do not know. Whatever. People have different experiences, different preferences. Again, safe spaces where people are welcome.  

Sara: Exactly. I am with you on that. For example, in Latin America, more in Nicaragua if you eat fried potatoes, you eat that with ketchup. If you go to another country, they eat fried potatoes with different sauces/dressings. Isn't it? 

So if you learned your whole life that you need to eat or drink something like that, you are going to do it. I am not going to judge that, but believe me, it is something to me that as a producer, to have a coffee that scores an 85 and 84, and they put sugar in it. I cried when I saw that.  

Ana: (Laughs) What are you doing? 

Sara: But even then, I am respectful. I am really respectful of that because that is the way people learned how to do it.  

For example, every coffee shop has its own menu and all that. We have a bunch of different specialty coffee shops in Nicaragua and everybody knows each other.   

Especially at La Tostadería, what we do there, for example, we do not sell Americanos, but we sell filter coffee. Why? Because we like to offer a different experience—it is something completely different than an Americano.  

Because that is my preference and that is the preference of my consumers, too. We are trying to teach them how to drink coffee. And we serve the coffee in glass, not in a cup. So that is something different and, in that way, you can appreciate more the aroma of the coffee and the flavor too.  

If you ask me, I really respect what the consumers desire, but even that, if I have the opportunity to share with them ... Because hey, they regularly ask you, I do not know why, but every time that I go over there, someone sees me and they say, “Hey so you are the owner?”And I start to speak about coffee.

They ask me, “What do you recommend?” and I am like, “That depends on you. That depends on what you like.” And they say, “No, no, no, I want your recommendation.”  

I was like, and I start to ask questions to them. “Hey, what kind of flavors do you like? Do you like more like a fruity, floral, or you like more chocolate?”

They say, “All that? All that you can feel in the coffee?” And I say, “Yeah, believe it. You can feel all that in the coffee.” 

We have different profiles. We have washed, honey, naturally processed coffees, and now we are going to have the new harvest, we are going to have an anaerobic [processed coffee] and different stuff other there. So it is pretty funny because I understand the profile of my coffee, and my baristas understand that, too.  

But I do not know. The people—they really enjoy the experience, if somebody says to them, “Hey this is the coffee that you should try,” and when they try it they say, “Hey the coffee—I do not know coffee tastes like that. This is not the flavor that I regularly drink in my cup of coffee.”  

That expression to me, you can’t imagine how many times I smiled when I saw that expression. It is so nice because I think the one time that you try specialty coffee, you never go back to drink other stuff. It is like a really fine line that you cross. And for me, it’s really hard when somebody asks me if I have decaf with almond milk. And I’m like, “NOOOO…” 

But that does not mean that I am not open to coffee like that, because I am really respectful of the process and all the ways to drink coffee.  

For me, it is like I told you, it is crazy just to drink decaf with almond milk, but one of my best friends did it like that, and she really enjoyed it. So why not? The coffee shop is for drinking, enjoying, and having this great moment. And just having this connection between the farm and all that, so it is an experience. And we are completely open to do that.  

We really appreciate that.  

Ana: It is an experience, from my understanding and what you have shared, it is a discovery as well—moving away from the general idea of dark roasted coffee, bitter, that needs to be with sugar because that is what people have been drinking without asking themselves where coffee comes from or if coffee has a different flavor.  

People do it with beer because they do know in Nicaragua which beer is lighter, which beer is stronger, right? We are not having this conversation usually with lots of people about coffee.  

Sara: (Laughs) Yeah! 

Ana: Coffee is coffee. It is the way it is served. But all the work you are doing, you are bringing in a new experience, you are opening the world to coffee to a lot of people who did not know coffee has acidity, that coffee is naturally sweet, that you can have different processes, different hours of fermentation, so it becomes an experience through education, through discovery, and through the willingness to just taste something different and value more coffee, because you moved away from a “traded good” that you need to buy and sell, buy and sell, and we don’t care who is behind that.  

With all the work you do—I do not know how to say this. There are many hats, jobs, producers that are invisible sometimes, because you only see the cup of coffee. Because that makes you happy.  

Sara: Exactly.

Ana: I was sharing once that when I see a cup of coffee, I do not think about the roasted beans, I do not think necessarily about the flavor. I think about the hands behind the coffee, the producers, the cherries, the community that is directly impacted by that farm because it is a business, not just a farm.  

So you know, that is my understanding of coffee—it is not just roasted beans. It is the beginning of it, where coffee comes from. It is great that you have that opportunity to share it, and as a producer to share it directly with the consumer.  

Now—I do not know if you have something else to add here. I have another question in mind.  

Sara: You made the question and you explained that perfectly. You do your job, you know … you do your job in this new generation. You share the message completely.

Ana: I do. I think we need to be more vocal about what the farmers are doing, to bring power to producers, to tell our own stories.  

Sometimes, like I was telling you at the beginning, language is a barrier, but there are other ways that we can tell our story, and not necessarily in English. But being part of other processes and other parts of the supply chain, like you were saying—by being a producer, being part of the quality control team, logistics at the dry mill, or running your own coffee shop.

I mean, the opportunities are endless. So, if you come from a coffee family you are not destined or obligated to become a farmer. You can be both or even more. So, you know, you come from a coffee family, and so you are a farmer, and the next one is a farmer. And it stays like that … but I don’t think it should be like that.

I think we are changing things, opening space and opportunities in the supply chain.  

So my next question is, Sara—why do you think that we need to keep on working towards motivating, introducing specialty coffee, or more about coffee, in a producing country such as Nicaragua? Why is it important? Aside from what we have talked about and shared here.  

Sara: When I say being a coffee farmer is not easy, I do not say this because I am scared. I am honest. It’s not like, “Hey, Sara said this! It is not easy. I don’t want to be a farmer.”   

The message is completely different than that. It is about trying to find your place in the coffee industry. For example, for me, I was really in love with quality control. That is home, that's my place! That doesn't mean I don’t like to be a farmer, because I like to be on the farm.

I really enjoyed it, but with all these options, I needed to move to study. I moved to the capital and all that. If we want a better education, we need to move. If somebody is listening to this, and you are from Nicaragua, they are going to understand what I am saying.  

This is something that we really think about, because in the community, we don't have education [opportunities] really close, and education is completely important. If I grew up as a farmer, the community grew up with me, too. We have a social responsibility on the farm, and we completely understand that.

My dad was working on that a couple of years ago with some buyers. So, we are thinking if the community grew up in that way, we can work with the community, too. We are working with a lot of sons and daughters of our pickers that are working on the farm but in a different way. They are not pickers. They grew up and we made a scholarship for them and they studied agronomy, business administration, and different stuff.

We are working together with them in that position. But that requires five years in the university just trying to … I don't know how to say this in English. Just trying to put more fertilizer for that student to help him or her grow up, and later go back to the community and [take their education to the community].

It is completely important to bring and make education here. Trying to get this education—not everything is cheap.  

If we think, if we want a great education, we go to see the information from the SCA. Everybody wants to have the Q Grader certification and all that, but it is expensive. Even for me it’s expensive. 

Something we should do is … every time that I have a free space to speak about coffee, I just share my knowledge and what I know. That doesn't mean that I have the only truth. That means we need to do more research, more than what I am saying. Just trying to get more involved in that. 

To get closer to the coffee industry, I think the coffee shop is a really nice place for that first contact, and what it means to work with specialty coffee. It's a really nice first step. Later than that, if you have to go to the farm, to go to the origin, you should do it.  

You should see a coffee plantation—you should. You should touch that leaf and that cherry and understand how nice and tasty the mucilage of the coffee is in your mouth. And later than that, you are going to appreciate the cup of coffee.  

Of course, there exist different places to try to learn about coffee, like coffee schools—that is a really nice place, too. You can meet with people. You can follow [people like] you, like @yellowcatuai, you can follow me, you can follow Mirtila, and different people who are in the coffee industry. We want to share information about coffee and our social network is completely about coffee. *Spoiler alert* We just speak about coffee.  

Ana: (Laughs) Yeah! 

Sara: But we have all of this, and all these different opportunities in different countries. For example, there exists this Master’s degree I am going to do in a couple of months. Information—I mean, there are different news outlets about coffee. Or you can just do it yourself. Just try to see Perfect Daily Grind in Spanish and English, and different languages, too.  

You can have different blogs about coffee. There’s the Hagamos Café in Nicaragua that is a really nice podcast about coffee. I mean, there are different ways. You can try to find information about coffee. The least you should do is put “coffee in Nicaragua” in Google. Do your own research. Put your effort in there. Put your energy in there. Because the internet is not just about memes.  

If you really want to enjoy coffee, if you really want to learn about coffee, you are going to do it. It does not matter if you are not an agronomist, it does not matter if you did not grow up in a coffee family, because it was my decision to be a producer and to be involved in coffee.  

If you ask me, even though we are a small country in Nicaragua in Central America, and started to work with specialty coffee 14 years ago, that does not mean we cannot develop this more than what we have right now. We need to work really hard right now to try to put our place on the map and say “Hey, it’s not just great coffee that we sell, it is something we can drink in our country and enjoy it and appreciate it. Because we deserve really great coffee.”

That a really hard conception. We produce really great coffee. We produce specialty coffee. And where is the specialty coffee? Why don’t people in Nicaragua drink specialty coffee? And we know that it is more expensive because we have more work to do over there. When you really appreciate and enjoy the coffee, and know the value, and all that—believe me that it deserves every Cordoba [Nicaraguan currency] that you put in that cup.  

Ana: I wanted to add, Sara, that I completely agree with you. The fact is that nowadays information is more accessible, that there are podcasts, news, and digital spaces popping up, people are sharing information that is for free.  

If you are a consumer, either in a consuming country or just in Nicaragua, and love coffee, just do your research.  

Type “coffee in Nicaragua,” like you said, in Google, and you will find a lot of resources that are free and accessible that will make you more curious and knowledgeable about coffee here and coffee in your own country.  

I think we’ve got to start there, about what we know, about what we know about our own coffee. Because sometimes we are like, “Yeah! A Nicaraguan product!” but what do we really know about these products? How many farmers do we have in the country, what are we growing, where is our coffee being exported?  

And then when we see a coffee shop, we have to recognize the value, the passion, the hard work. I can be romantic about that, but really that has a price. It a business. Again! But we got to pay for the coffee.  

If you want a great product, you have to pay for it. So, we move away from the idea that coffee should be cheap, because we see it as a product to add value to our daily routine, to our lives, to our discovery, sensory experiences, more knowledge, education. So we move away from dark-roasted coffee, and we see the farmer, we see the farmers.

We see the other side, the human side of coffee that we are sometimes missing, because we're not showing it. So, the opportunity is there, is there for us to take and to continue—like you said, growing this community that loves coffee, that shares about it, even if it is two minutes, we are ready to share about coffee. And the spaces are there. And like you said, it is our moment, because the specialty coffee industry in Nicaragua has changed a lot.  

The number of experiments, the specialization from producers—they are doing naturals, honey, washed, anaerobic, experimenting because we are at a different level. Maybe not every producer, but we can have those local innovations available in Managua, in the capital city in other coffee shops, too—for other people to enjoy.  

I am so happy that this is growing, that this is happening, and that people like you and your family are behind this great movement. So yeah!  

Sara: I just want to say thanks to all the consumers who are involved in coffee, because it means we do something well. It means that there are people interested. I know specialty coffee is not really accessible for everybody, and I hope specialty coffee will be accessible for everybody.

But it is something in the market that we need to work to, not just in Nicaragua. It is something that we need to see on a global level. For now, we are just trying to make the best that we can do over there, and I really appreciate it when somebody asks me what “specialty coffee” means, because that is how we start to talk about what is going on.

So, it is time to start talking. You know it is not just a cup, it is not just something that we press the button and it’s just like that. I really appreciate that I had this time with you because I enjoyed this moment, believe me! I enjoyed this talk. And I hope we can have more spaces like this in the future.

Ana: Thank you very much Sara for joining us, and for sharing your experience, your thoughts, your opinions, your knowledge. As you said, your career is marketing but then you have coffee education from life, and that is valuable, and that is unique—because our coffee experiences are unique. 

What we said here, how I see coffee as a cherry or the first thing that comes to my mind is a plant, that is a valid thing, and if you are listening to this and you think of coffee as a roasted bean, that is fine, because our experiences with coffee are different, and like Sara mentioned—we’ve got to be respectful about that, but also open to listening to others, to learn.  

And just to kind of explore what is happening, why I did not know this. Or, “Hey I know this; I want to share it.”

Sara: Enjoy your cup of coffee!   

Thank you for listening to this story. Internal coffee consumption in coffee-growing countries is key to making this industry more sustainable and boosting economic development at all levels. To learn more about Sara and Finca Los Pinos’ work, check out their website at lospinosfarm.com or her Instagram at @sicr92. For comments and follow-up, you can find me as @yellowcatui on Instagram.

That was Ana Sofía Narváez. While this is the formal end to the Boss Barista takeover, I’d still love to hear from you! If you have an idea for a show, if you want to be a guest host, or if you want to launch your own podcast, email me: I’m at bossbaristapodcast@gmail.com, and I would be more than happy to help you launch your idea.

Thanks for listening to this takeover series, thank you to all the creators, thank you to Chobani for their sponsorship, and thank you to the listeners for supporting these new projects. We’ll chat next week.