With a medium to smooth body and a distinct but mild acidity, Nicaraguan coffees reviews indicate it provides rich yet subtle flavors, balanced sweetness, with a nutty bouquet that often exhibits notes of vanilla.
Growing Altitude: 1,100 – 1,600 meters above sea level
Harvest Period: October – March
QUALITIES OF NICARAGUAN COFFEE
A good Nicaraguan coffee displays a mild, fruity brightness and will tend toward higher-toned characteristics such as citrus and floral sensations rather than lower-toned sensations such as papaya/apricot and chocolate.
The coffees of Nicaragua are characteristic of Central American coffees in general, though typically milder in acidity than most other Central American coffees. Nicaragua coffee is wet processed. While not typically Organic certified (though there are some certified on the market), most coffee trees are organically grown due to a lack of infrastructure and funds in the regions. Nicaragua has some of the lower growing elevations among the Central Americas, but most will qualify for High Grown, and Strictly High Grown (SHG) is available.
PLANT VARIETALS OF NICARAGUA
The coffee plant varietal Bourbon which is grown in Nicaragua is known to produce coffee beans with various mild flavors including vanilla, pear, chocolate, and pie crust. The less common varietals include Caturra, Pacamara, Maragogype, Maracaturra, Yellow and Red Catuain and Catimor.
Sharing a border with Costa Rica and Honduras, Nicaragua produces a range of coffees for the specialty coffee market as well as lower grade coffees. Some of the most popular market names for Nicaraguan coffee are Segovia, Jinotega, and Matagalpa.
NICARAGUAN COFFEE TRADE
The Nicaraguan coffee trade has gone through turbulent times since it began in the mid-1800s, enduring periods of both high and low demand. In recent decades the Nicaraguan coffee trade has been hurt by civil war and hurricanes as well as the U.S. bans on Nicaraguan imports during the cold war.
Nicaraguan coffee is now beginning to make a comeback to its former popularity. The coffees of Nicaragua are classified, or graded, based upon the altitude at which they are grown.
It’s imported by green coffee importers, who partner with distributors and brokers in Central America to get unroasted green coffees into the United States and Canada in container-quantities (usually 45,000 lbs). They then separate the 132-lb bags for wholesale to coffee roasting companies who use it in their own brands and blends.