El Talisman Coffee: A Taste of Nicaragua

by Alysha Kaye Mendez on July 27, 2016 in Food, Living Texas, Austin,
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The Alvarados are a lot like any other typical Texas family — they work hard, they play hard, but the most important thing in their lives is each other. Yuri and Johanna Alvarado are political refugees from Nicaragua — they moved to the U.S. as teenagers, escaping the Sandinista revolution and Contra war that followed. They beat all odds and created a happy and successful life, plus, they’ve raised two children, Johanna and Fernando.

The Alvarados are passionate about their product, and it’s easy to see why. Courtesy photos
The Alvarados are passionate about their product, and it’s easy to see why. Courtesy photos

The next step of their dream involves one of my favorite things in the world — coffee. El Talisman Coffee, straight from the Alvarado’s farm in the mountains of Matagalpa, Nicaragua is absolutely incredible. Johanna and Yuri are fifth and sixth generation coffee farmers — who still plant, prune, clean, harvest, and process by hand — which used to, of course, be the only way.

“My favorite part of the job is growing the coffee in Nicaragua. I love the level of involvement required to produce good quality coffee,” Yuri Alvarado said. “We tend to each of our 50,000 coffee trees individually. We still do all the work by hand, like our ancestors did over a century ago. Growing good quality coffee is truly a labor of love and I love doing it.”

The heart and soul of El Talisman Coffee comes straight from their Matagalpa farm.
The heart and soul of El Talisman Coffee comes straight from their Matagalpa farm.

You can truly taste that “labor of love” in every cup. And it’s not just me that thinks so highly of the smooth taste — El Talisman Coffee has been selling out all over Central Texas! They’ve recently been a hit at the Kyle Market Days, Barton Creek Farmers Market ( you can still find them here every Saturday, rain or shine), the Downtown Buda Farmers Market, Plum Creek Front Porch Days, Ten Thousand Villages of Austin World Fair Trade Day and the Kyle Public Library.

“Working with my family has been by far the most exciting part of this experience,” Yuri explained. “It has been amazing for me to see Johanna and Fernando connect at a very deep level, with something our family has been doing for five generations. It’s been wonderful to see the amount of passion and energy each has brought to this endeavor.”

At the Plum Creek Front Porch Days you can expect a friendly face and a great cup of coffee.
At the Plum Creek Front Porch Days you can expect a friendly face and a great cup of coffee.

If you’re curious to hear their story first hand or, even better, hear it over a cup of coffee,  then go meet one of the Alvarados at one of the aforementioned markets. A smile from them and a sip of their delicious coffee will make your day. While they work on getting their online store up and running, they will continue with farmers markets every weekend. As Yuri said, “We absolutely love having the opportunity to meet every customer personally!” Next time you need your morning caffeine, support local Texan families and check out El Talisman!

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