The 6 Best Nicaraguan Coffee Brands

The Reputation of Nicaraguan Coffee Beans

Nicaragua is the third largest producer of coffee in Central America, (with Honduras and Guatemala being the first and second, according to the ICO). Coffee has long been a cornerstone to the Nicaraguan economy since the 1800s! Nicaraguan coffee has since been through some difficult times. Wars, hurricanes and import bans all contributed to a significant decrease in demand for Nicaraguan beans. Luckily, those times appear to be in the past, and the reputation of Nicaraguan coffee is constantly on the rise now!

Nicaragua really has a lot to offer, and so we’ve put together a list of what we feel to be the 6 best Nicaraguan coffees out there!

Here's a quick summary of our best Nicaraguan coffee picks!

The Coffee

The Visual

Defining Aspects

Available As...

Jinotega

Nicaraguan Coffee Nicaragua Jinotega Coffee Whole Bean
  • Butterscotch & chocolate!
  • Naturally sweet aroma and taste

Pacamara

Nicaragua Pacamara Coffee Whole Bean
  • Mellow light roast
  • Vanilla & berries

Matagalpa

Nicaraguan Coffee Nicaragua Matagalpa Coffee Whole Bean
  • Sweet notes of honey & citrus
  • Low Acidity

Río Coco

Nicaraguan Coffee Nicaragua Río Coco Coffee Whole Bean
  • Earth, nuts & chocolate
  • Organic, shade-grown

Segovia

Nicaraguan Coffee Nicaragua Segovia Coffee Whole Bean
  • Nuts, apricot & spice!
  • Rich & Smooth

Organic Nicaragua

Organic Nicaraguan Coffee Whole Bean
  • Fruit & Earth
  • Organic & fair trade

Can’t pick just one? While we highly recommend each and every one of these Nicaraguan beans, if we had to pick one, it would be the Matagalpa!


Nicaraguan Coffee Growing Regions

Jinotega Coffee

Jinotega is located in the North Central region of Nicaragua. The vast majority of Nicaraguan coffee is produced in this region. If you’ve had a Nicaraguan coffee before, chances are that it came from Jinotega! Rich volcanic soils, high elevations, and the shade provided by trees all contribute the the production of high quality Jinotega coffee beans.

Matagalpa Coffee

Matagalpa is known both as the “Pearl of the North” and “Land of Eternal Spring”. As the title of eternal Spring would imply, warm, Spring-like weather exists year round. Matagalpa is a large city, and exports a number of different goods. Among these exports, of course, is coffee! Matagalpa coffee is known to be of a very high quality, and for a good reason!

Other Regions

Jinotega and Matagalpa are the most commercially available Nicaraguan coffee brands, but there are plenty more to discover too! Segovia produces some great coffee too, but it is unfortunately a little more difficult to get your hands on.

Nicaraguan Coffee Beans

Nicaraguan coffee beans set out on display!


Nicaraguan Coffee Farms

Nicaraguan coffee farms are typically located at high altitudes. The vast array of mountainous regions provide high elevations, as well as rich, nutrient packed volcanic soils. Nicaraguan coffee farms are often family owned. Coffee roasters partner with these farms through a number of cooperative initiatives that ensure proper compensation to farmers and encourage a high quality output. Meticulous care and organic practices also play a major factor in the high quality of Nicaraguan coffee.

Nicaraguan Coffee Farm

Vast Nicaraguan coffee farms can be seen from afar. 


Nicaraguan Coffee Taste Profile

Nicaraguan coffee taste profiles can be quite variable, but you can expect to find at least a few of these signature aspects;

  • Notes of citrus fruits, chocolate & nuts
  • Smooth, balanced & sweet tasting 
  • check
    Acidity of varying intensity, typically citrus-toned
  • Sweet, floral or fruity aroma
  • Fruity or sugar-like sweetness

The Best Nicaraguan Coffee Brands

As we mentioned earlier, Nicaraguan coffee is constantly increasing in popularity. Because of this, there has been an influx of new Nicaraguan coffee brands in recent years. It is for this reason that we’ve compiled a list of what we feel to be the 6 best Nicaraguan coffee brands that are currently available. Have a look!


1. Jinotega Coffee

Roasted By: Don Tomas Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Sweet, notes of butterscotch & chocolate

We'll start with the most obvious, Jinetoga coffee! The majority of coffee from Nicaragua comes from Jinetoga, but don't worry, quality is not sacrificed for quantity. Don Tomas Coffee is a highly respectable roaster that runs their own school in Nicaragua. On top of that, they assist in housing efforts and medical programs. This coffee has a sweet, room-filling aroma & delicious notes of butterscotch & chocolate. A bright, citric acidity provides a fresh bite before fading away into a smooth & light finish. These beans also make a great espresso shot!


2. Matagalpa Coffee

Roasted By: Three Avocados

Roast: Medium

Taste: Sweet notes of citrus fruits & honey

Next up we have this fine coffee from Matagalpa. These beans are roasted by Three Avocados, another very respectable roaster. All of the profits, (that's right 100%) go to a clean water initiative in Uganda. This coffee is naturally sweet and contains notes of honey and citrus fruits. This one is very low in acidity and can be enjoyed by those with who may have sensitive stomachs! This is a truly stand out coffee that any coffee lover is sure to enjoy.


3. Pacamara Coffee

Roasted By: Boca Java

Roast: Light

Taste: Mellow, notes of berries & vanilla

This coffee also comes from Jinotega, but it is a lot different than #1 in our list. These beans are of the Pacamara variety. This is the result of crossing the Pacas and Maragogype varietals. Can you guess where the name Paca-Mara comes from? This coffee is delicate and mellow, with prominent notes of vanilla and berries as well as a honey-toned sweetness. A bright, fruity bite is present but not overwhelming. When all is said and done, a sweet, lingering aftertaste remains!

If you're interested, you can read more about  Pacamara Coffee!


4. Río Coco Coffee 

Roasted By: Mayorga Organics

Roast: Medium

Taste: Balanced, notes of chocolate, nuts & earth

These beans come from a lesser known region called San Juan del Río Coco. This coffee is a testament to the idea that less popular Nicaraguan regions can produce some top quality stuff! Mayorga Organics, as the name would imply, is all about environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. These beans make a cup that balances many notable aspects. Notes of nuts and chocolate combine with some earthy character, a honey-like sweetness and a moderate level of acidity to make a truly interesting coffee. You'll definitely want more than one cup of this to take in all that it has to offer.


5. Segovia Coffee

Roasted By: Tiny Footprint Coffee

Roast: Dark

Taste: Rich, notes of apricot, nuts & spice

Another organic coffee from another roaster that puts sustainability at the forefront of their operation. Tiny Footprint coffee constantly plants trees in an effort to reforest the planet! Nicaraguan coffee farms and roasters would appear to take a lot of pride in their work, which is great for us! This coffee is rich, with notes of nut, spice and apricot. A pleasant sweetness that is reminiscent of nougat is also evident. Anyone who tends to prefer a darker roast should do themselves a favor and check out this coffee!


6. Organic Nicaraguan Coffee

Roasted By: Coffee Bean Direct

Roast: Dark

Taste: Rich, notes of chocolate, nuts & spice

Our final Nicaraguan coffee is a wonderful light roast from Coffee Bean Direct. This one is organic and fair trade which is commonplace for Nicaraguan coffee. These beans are lightly roasted, yet maintain a low acidity! An intense aroma of earth and chocolate will catch your attention right off the bat. This coffee is sweet and has notes of fruit and earth. If you tend to prefer a lighter roast, check out this coffee!


And that concludes our look at the best Nicaraguan beans! Hopefully you’ve found a new coffee to try out!

What is your favorite Nicaraguan coffee? Did we miss something that deserves to be in our list? Let us know!

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