Nicaragua: Modern Day Coffee

Nicaragua was, at one time, one of the foremost areas in the world for producing and exporting quality coffee beans. Unfortunately, political unrest in the late 1970's forced a lot of growers out of business, or sent them fleeing to other countries. The coffee industry is beginning to make a comeback here, however, and coffee aficionados are benefiting in big ways.

With a few exceptions, Nicaraguan coffee is blended for balanced flavor. The higher quality beans emerge from the areas of Nuevo Segovia, Matagalpa, and Jinotega. The best beans in the country come from the central region. They have a full-bodied flavor, are aromatic, and balance acidity with taste perfectly.

Segovia also grows outstanding beans, but they are not as well-known as their counterparts in other regions of Nicaragua. The Segovian coffee bean is not bitter or woody-tasting. It is smooth, rich, and well-balanced. Since the country's coffee-growing community produces dozens of varieties and flavors of beans, not all beans grown in Nicaragua tastes as flavorful as the beans roasted from the central area or Segovia area.

Choosing the roast of the bean can have more influence on the flavor than the bean itself. Most Nicaraguan beans are at their best with a medium roast. This brings out the flavor and aroma without the bitter aftertaste or "burnt coffee" smell. Two of the newer, exceptional beans coming out of Nicaragua are longberry and peaberry. Growers of these beans are using an exclusive process to flavor the beans as they grow, creating a fantastic, savory, full-bodied cup of coffee.

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