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Meet the Grower: Fernando Talks Talisman

We are featuring a pretty special microlot, El Talisman. Not only is it a great tasting coffee—a clean but complex honey process with notes of honey, strawberry, and lime zest—it is from the farm of Little City’s own Fernando Alvarado!

Little City & El Talisman

El Talisman is a thirty-five acre farm is located in the mountains of Matagalpa, Nicaragua and is owned by the Alvaro family—parents Yuri and Johanna who run the farm and son Fernando and daughter Jo who handle stateside operations. Fernando has been a great friend of Little City and worked on our team for many years.

We sat down with Fernando to ask him a few questions about El Talisman, what it means to him that his family’s coffee met our microlot quality standards, and the fact that he is now roasting and delivering it to homes all over Austin.  


LC: What does Talisman mean?
FA: El Talisman was named by my Grandpa in the late 1960s. It means an amulet or a stone that holds the power to protect you from negative energy/evil. 
LC: Why is this coffee special to you? 
FA: My family has given a lot for me to be here. In a way, for me, the coffee has been the product of every sacrifice they’ve ever done. I don’t want it to go in vain, so I like the idea of being able to revive the dream and to be a part of the growth of the company. That’s kinda the idea, that’s why it’s so important to me.

LC: Why should people be excited and try this coffee?
FA: There is a lot of love in these beans. Down to the gentle way that we plant them. I went to the farm and I was picking the beans and I got in trouble because I was plucking off the beans, which is NOT what you’re supposed to do. You twist and pop! I was ruining the trees but I learned that day how much pride and attention to detail is in every step of the process. 

LC: Any big plans for the future?
FA: The idea is that once we grow El Talisman successful enough in Austin, a city that has really accepted us and our practices, we want to build an orphanage. It was my grandfather’s dream!

LC: How would you describe it, this coffee?
FA: The honey process is going to be a more delicate, easy-to-drink coffee with fruity flavor notes. My mom swears she tastes raspberry-filled chocolates! I was dialing in the coffee on espresso and sure enough, I tasted those strong raspberry and chocolate notes as well!

LC: What would be your first choice of brew method for this lot of El Talisman?
FA: It’s a great drip coffee for everyday drinking, but if you really wanna taste those fruity raspberry notes, I would go with espresso!

From left to right, Fernando, Jo, and Yuri Alvaro of El Talisman
From left to right, Fernando, Jo, and Yuri Alvaro of El Talisman
Fernando and Yuri with the El Talisman crew
Fernando and Yuri with the El Talisman crew
The shaded coffee fields of El Talisman
The shaded coffee fields of El Talisman
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