The Nordic Barista Cup is honored to have the esteemed Roberto Bendaña in attendance for this year’s event. A member of the Cup of Excellence Board of Directors, and the Chairman of the Nicaraguan Specialty Coffee Association, Roberto is an incredible presence in the international coffee industry, and an intense supporter of the barista craft as a means for furthering our profession as a whole.
Roberto treated attendees and NBC teams to a presentation on Nicaraguan coffees, explaining the strides his country’s production has made in recent years. According to Roberto, the increase in direct relationships between Nicaraguan coffee producers and specialty roasters has helped the Nicaraguan industry financially, which translates to improvement in the quality of life for coffee producers, which is his and his colleagues’ primary goal. “It’s a family affair,” he said. “Thanks to the specialty market and direct relationships, we have improved not only social aspectws but environmental as well.”
Following Roberto’s presentation, teams gathered to cup a variety of Nicaraguan coffees from every region. Teams took notes on the cup characteristics, and — as I type this — are gathering to bid on their favorite coffees in an auction led by Stephen Hurst of Mercanta! Teams use their Barista Dollars to buy their favorite coffees, making the same careful buying decisions specialty roasters make
Besides fame and glory, the winning team at this year’s NBC will travel to Nicaragua to visit with Roberto and coffee producers in this beautiful coffee-growing region. Anyone wishing to join them may bid (online too!) for spots on the tourbus. Thank you, Nicaragua!!