Nicaragua

Nicaraguan coffees have a wide range of flavor attributes. Some cup like Mexican coffees from Oaxaca, others have a more pronounced acidity. Some are mildly citrusy and bright, such as the coffees of Dipilto in Nueva Segovia department. The botanical cultivars utilized are traditional: Typica, some Bourbon and Maragogype dominate, along with Caturra and Pacas. There is some of the less desirable Catimor varietal, but many farms removed it after the "catimor craze" 10-20 years ago passed.

 

When in season, we offer some new "exotic" cultivars too: a Pacamara, a "Java" cultivar and the large bean Maragogype. Pulp Natural process is also a variation that gives the cup great body and a slightly rustic fruited layer. It seems that many of the growers in Nicaragua, sensing that the value of their Caturra coffees reaches a certain ceiling and rises no further, are trying many combinations of coffee variety and processing to command higher prices. We value the approachable sweetness and restraint of wet-processed old-style varietals like Bourbon and Typica, and their offspring like Caturra. We feel that an occasional foray into the exotic is fine, but people want to drink these classic coffees more often than unbalanced, one-off, odd coffees. So we like to see growers focus the core of their efforts toward these sweet and elegant coffees, not the flash-in-the-pan varietals or processing experiments.

 

If you are a fan of a heavy Full City or Vienna roast (in either case, you are letting the 2nd crack start and you stop the roast before it gains its momentum), then you really need to try a Jinotega or Matagalpa Nicaraguan at that roast level. They have enough body to stand up to dark roasts and the great balance and pungent bittersweetness is unparalleled! Roasted to Vienna stage, these coffees can make excellent and unique single-origin espresso.


Good shade planting practices in Ocotal area.

After a long day of harvesting coffee, Mataglapa

New varietal experiments ready to be planted in the ground

Weighing out the separated coffee fruit with by the Lata, a volume measurement they use to pay workers.

Patches of native forest at La Minita farm

A long bean cultivar called Java has appeared in Nicaragua, which appears to have a relationship in apperance to Camaroon coffee

Unripe coffee is separated and dried in the skin, to be sold to the low grade commercial market

Coffee rolled up in black plastic tarps for the evening. Much drying is done of plastic tarps, less than ideal.

Cupping at the Nicaragua Cup of Excellence way back in the day.

Nicaragua map

Coffee in parchment, "reposo", resting until the moisture content is stabilized and its ready for dry milling.