It was in 1795 that Arabica coffee was first introduced to Nicaragua. Still, it was a rocky start hindered further by earthquakes and hurricanes, as well as civil wars within the country and U.S bans on imports during the cold war. It was not until the late 20th century that the Nicaraguan coffee industry thrived and was able to stand on its own feet, supporting nearly 300 000 workers, and all thanks to its coffee farmers that persisted throughout the disruptions.
Almost 95% of the coffee grown in Nicaragua is high altitude shade-grown. Growing coffee on altitudes between 3600 and 5200 feet above sea level helps it meet the Strictly High Grown coffee specifications, along with a fertile volcanic soil and a favoring climate. Some of the best Arabica coffee varietals are grown in Nicaragua, such as Bourbon, Typica, Catimor, Caturra etc. Many farms are located amongst wild forest and coffee is often grown under the protection of shade trees.
Thanks to our close collaboration with Café Nor we can bring you this intriguing coffee from the jungles of Jinotega. Café Nor focuses on giving technical assistance on improvement of production output, sustainable farming and certification in order to improve the socio-economic and environmental sustainability of the participating farmers and their communities.
Cafe Nór consists of two farms, Finca Jesper and Finca Yahoska – both situated in the northern Nicaraguan municipality of Jinotega. The two farms are used as trading hubs for coffee, agro-materials and other commodities for small and medium sized coffee growers with scarce access to larger markets and who the major coffee exporters do not finance due to size and logistics.
Finca Jesper located in Laguna Verde at an altitude of 1400m. All coffee here is shade-grown, meaning that it's grown under a canopy of trees. Shade grown coffee greatly benefits the local flora and fauna, the environment, as well as the taste by letting the cherries ripen slower. The area is abundant with wildlife and to preserve the original forests and watersheds sustainable land ownership is practiced.
The team has developed gravity pumps, which are used to lift water to where it’s needed without the use of fuel. These gravity pumps lift the so call “honey-water” up to tanks from where it can be used to irrigate the coffee. The coffee is divided into lots according to varietal and planting year and each lot gets the specific treatment it deserves. Coffee pulp, a byproduct from fermentation, is composted and returned to the land to use as a natural fertilizer.
Long before the conquistadores arrived, the Jinotega region was occupied by artisans, farmers and warriors. Descendants of Pre-Colombian peoples filled the valleys and jungles with their rich and varied culture. The name itself is thought to come from the Nahuatl word "Xinotencatl," meaning alternately "City of the Eternal Men" or "Neighbors of the Jiñocuabos (Mangy tree)."
This region, situated high in the Isabella mountain chain, grows between 65-80% of Nicaragua’s coffee. The coffee sector is mostly made up of smallholder farmers with 1-3 hectares of land. Soil here is fertile. Slopes are densely forested, misted by clouds, and home to huge biodiversity.
Jinotega shares its northern border with Honduras, and the region is a wonder of cliffs, waterfalls, hotsprings, and of course, quality coffee. In fact, over 30 coffees from this region have placed in Cup of Excellence competitions.