• Cher Dayrit

Nicaragua Jinotega Las Camelias SHB Coffee

Let's learn more about how this flavorful coffee grows and let's dig a little about the wonderful history of Nicaragua.

Nicaragua is a beautiful country in Central America. This country is tropical and volcanic, with two lakes and two coasts both in the Pacific and in the Atlantic. Home of great poets like Ruben Dario and known for cacao, tropical fruits, quesillo, vigoron, chia and coffee.

Nicaragua Jinotega Las Camelias coffee is produced using natural shade and mineral-rich volcanic soil in the famously cloudy hills just outside the city of Jinotega. In history, the city predating the arrival of the Spaniards, and heavily influenced by the production of coffee soon after its introduction in the mid-1800s. It rests within a sunken valley, surrounded by the intersection of several mountain ranges, which are home to several small coffee farms in addition to Las Camelias. The Las Camelias coffee is handpicked, washed, sun dried. This coffee grows in an altitude of 1300 - 1600 M.A.S.L. Harvest month is December to April.

Jinotega is the capital of the Jinotega Department which is one of three major growing regions in Nicaragua in addition to Matagalpa and Segovia. The nearby Lake Apanás reservoir provides hydroelectric power for the region and a majority of the nation’s population. Specialty purveyors in Europe have for years been the primary buyers of Nicaraguan coffee. Jinotega produces the lion’s share (about 65%) of Nicaragua’s coffee. The area’s tall mountains and oak and pine tree forests create excellent micro-climate growing conditions for arabica. In effect, most of Nicaragua’s coffee is shade grown using old-world, sustainable methods that take advantage of these native trees that blanket much of its landscape and farming regions. Nicaraguan growers have long been sensitive to the preservation of the environment and biodiversity, and use methods that prevent soil erosion, deforestation and water contamination.

Did you know that?

There’s a huge portion of Jinotega that is occupied by protected tropical rainforests and natural forest reserves. A total of five national forest reserves (or reserva naturals) are in Jinotega: Volcán Yalí, Cerro Datanlí El Diablo, Peñas Blancas, Cerro Kilambé and the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve. The sprawling, 5 million-acre Bosawás Biosphere Reserve covers the entire northern portion of Jinotega along the Honduran border; it’s a land of countless jungles, rivers, mountain peaks and lakes that are home to large, diverse populations of birds, plants and animals. Amazingly to this day most of the reserve is unexplored. In terms of total landmass, it encompasses 20% of Nicaragua’s overall acreage, making it the second largest tropical rainforest in the entire Western Hemisphere and handily the largest nature preserve in Central America. In fact, it’s so large that its size is surpassed only by Brazil’s Amazon.

The entire western half of Nicaragua is lined with a string of both active and extinct volcanoes, falling along the path of the Ring of Fire. It’s well known that volcanic ash is a major soil component for growers and luckily locals have not had to suffer any major, life-threatening eruptions in a long time. Unfortunately, Nicaragua however is no stranger to natural disasters and hardship. In 1998 when Hurricane Mitch made landfall it left the nation in ruin, severely crippling both infrastructure and agriculture as torrential downpours pounded its lowlands and caused widespread erosion and mudslides in the mountains. This was then soon followed by a severe, three-year drought, spanning 1999-2001. In the years that followed, the population struggled with civil war and other political problems that held back its recovery. Thankfully Nicaragua is now back on a productive and positive track for both its people as well as its coffee industry.

Flavor of this coffee

Nicaragua Jinotega Las Camelias coffee is delicate yet lush and gently bright. Dried peach, ripe orange, candied walnut, hints of fresh-cut cedar and cinnamon in aroma and cup. Roundly balanced acidity; satiny, light-footed mouthfeel. Walnut, cedar and orange in particular carry into a crisp but sweet finish. This hearty character is just the ticket to warm you up after coming in from the cold or get you going first thing in the morning.

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