Luis Alberto Balladarez SL34 Natural - LIMITED ROAST

Regular price $21.00


PRODUCER: Luis Alberto Balladarez
ORIGIN: Finca La Bendicion, Nueva Segovia
ELEVATION: 1,300 masl
PROCESS: Natural
HARVEST: Winter/Spring 2020-2021
TASTING: Pinot noir & chocolate cherry, sweet 

Net wt. 10oz (285g)

─ PREORDER ─ This coffee will roast and ship on 12/8. ─ PREORDER 

Yes, you read that right, an SL34 Natural from Nicaragua! We've featured Luis Alberto Balladarez's Java Natural for two straight years and we've really enjoyed it - fruit-forward, and sweet. It offers all the deep, sweet blueberry jam kind of flavor that you get from the best Ethiopian natural process coffees, but without the florals - there is more of a milk chocolate and sugar-browning backbone instead. This SL34 variety is even fruitier and sweeter than the Java! We're tasting grape candy, pinot noir, cherry juice, and that same chocolate backbone that the Java has.

This is a great example of how important variety is to flavor in the cup. The SL34 variety is just "better" than the Java variety - World Coffee Research gives the SL34 variety an "exceptional" quality rating whereas the Java variety merely gets "very good." 

From World Coffee Research: "Exceptional cup quality but highly susceptible to coffee berry disease. Found mostly in Kenya. 

SL34 was originally selected in Kenya the late 1930s at the Scott Agricultural Laboratories (for more on Scott Labs, see SL28). Individual tree selections made at the Scott Laboratories in Kenya during the 1935-1939 period were prefixed “SL.” SL34 was selected from a single tree on the Loresho Estate in Kabete, Kenya since research at the Scott Laboratories was often conducted in cooperation with local, private estate owners. The tree was labeled “French Mission.”

French missionaries known as Spiritans established a mission in 1893 at Bura (Taita Hills, Kenya), in which Bourbon coffee seeds originating from La Réunion island were planted. The seedlings from Bura were brought to another French Mission in Saint Austin (near Nairobi) in 1899, and from there seeds were distributed to settlers willing to grow coffee. This is the origin of so-called French Mission coffee.

Because of the historical movement of coffee seeds directly from La Réunion via the French missionaries, French Mission is widely understood to be another name for Bourbon. However, recent genetic tests have indicated that SL34 is related to the Typica genetic group. It is possible that the original story about SL34 being selected from a French Mission population could be incorrect."

From our importer:

"Finca La Bendicion is located in the Dipilto-Jalapa mountain range in the Northeast of the department of Nueva Segovia and sits at an elevation of approximately 1,300 meters. In total, the farm is 252 acres, with around 105 acres planted in coffee. Of those 105 acres in coffee, Luis grows the following varieties: Caturra, Red Catuai, Hybrids, Villa Sarchi, Pacamara, Maracaturra, H-3, Marselleza, SL-34 and Java. Finca La Bendición has a loose sandy soil, with abundant humus and has an annual rainfall of between 1,400 and 1,600mm. In addition, the farm has a rich biodiverse environment of fauna and flora, with an abundance of broad-leaved trees and conifer species. All of this together, creates for optimal coffee growing conditions. The care and processing that goes into every lot that is processed in this farm is second to none, with careful detail at every stage, starting with optimal cherry picking at the farm level. Washed coffees are dried for between 20-25 days, honeys 20-25 days and naturals, between 30-35 days! Luis Alberto won 6th place in the COE this year, 1st place in 2020, 1st and 5th place in 2018, as well as 13th and 3rd place in 2017.... he is no stranger to producing exceptional coffees. This is our fourth year working with Luis Alberto and every year is coffees are amongst the most fun that we work with! 

For more information about his processes and coffees, we created a few video clips that I also think are important to watch to really understand how special this producer and his coffees are: 

    ─ PREORDER ─ This coffee will roast and ship on 12/8. ─ PREORDER 

    Roasting and Shipping Schedule:

    Coffee is roasted on Wednesdays. If you order anytime up until 3pm Tuesday, we will roast and ship the next day. Orders received after 3pm Tuesday may not get roasted until the following week. If we have extra inventory, we will ship ASAP. Email us at shippingwoes (at) if you have questions about when your order will be roasted and/or shipped.