The 7 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 7 best Nicaraguan coffees out there!

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

The Coffee

Available As...

Mycotoxin Free

Nicaragua Mycotoxin Free Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Sweet, notes of butterscotch & chocolate


Nicaraguan Coffee Nicaragua Jinotega Coffee Whole Bean

Roast: Medium

Taste: Sweet, notes of butterscotch & chocolate


Nicaraguan Coffee Nicaragua Matagalpa Coffee Whole Bean

Roast: Medium

Taste: Sweet, notes of citrus fruits and honey


Nicaragua Pacamara Coffee Whole Bean

Roast: Light

Taste: Mellow, notes of berries and vanilla

Río Coco

Nicaraguan Coffee Nicaragua Río Coco Coffee Whole Bean

Roast: Medium

Taste: Balanced, notes of earth, nuts and chocolate


Nicaraguan Coffee Nicaragua Segovia Coffee Whole Bean

Roast: Dark

Taste: Rich, notes of apricot, spice & nut

Organic Nicaragua

Organic Nicaraguan Coffee Whole Bean

Roast: Light

Taste: Balanced, notes of fruit & earth

Can’t pick just one? If we had to pick one, it would be the LifeBoost's Mycotoxin Free Coffee!

Nicaraguan Coffee Growing Regions

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.

Let's chat briefly about a couple of the more well known 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 Farm

Vast Nicaraguan coffee farms can be seen from afar. 

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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 
  • Acidity of varying intensity, typically citrus-toned
  • Sweet, floral or fruity aroma
  • Fruity or sugar-like sweetness

Nicaraguan Coffee History

The history of coffee in Nicaragua is deeply rooted in the country's economy and culture. Coffee cultivation in Nicaragua began in the mid-19th century and quickly became a significant agricultural industry.

Coffee was introduced to Nicaragua by European immigrants, primarily from Germany and Italy. The fertile volcanic soils and favorable climate of Nicaragua's highlands provided ideal conditions for coffee production. The first coffee plantations were established in regions such as Matagalpa, Jinotega, and Segovia.

Coffee cultivation in Nicaragua initially faced challenges due to political instability and conflicts. However, by the late 19th century, coffee production began to flourish, and it soon became the country's leading export crop.

Nicaragua's coffee industry saw considerable growth during the early 20th century. Coffee exports brought substantial wealth to the country, leading to economic development and the establishment of infrastructure, including railroads and ports, to facilitate coffee trade. The industry played a vital role in Nicaragua's economy, providing employment opportunities and contributing to the nation's GDP.

The coffee boom in Nicaragua led to the rise of large coffee estates, known as "fincas," where coffee was cultivated on a large scale. These estates employed local workers and contributed to the expansion of coffee production in the country. Nicaraguan coffee gained recognition for its quality and unique flavor profiles.

In the late 20th century, Nicaragua faced challenges related to political instability, natural disasters, and fluctuations in global coffee prices. The industry experienced setbacks, but coffee remained an essential agricultural sector in the country.

Efforts have been made to promote sustainability and fair trade practices within Nicaragua's coffee industry. Many smallholder farmers cultivate coffee using environmentally friendly methods, including shade-grown coffee and organic farming practices.

Today, Nicaragua is known as one of the major coffee-producing countries in Central America. The country's coffee industry supports numerous small-scale farmers who cultivate coffee on family-owned plots. Specialty coffee production has gained prominence, with a focus on high-quality, traceable, and sustainable coffees.

Nicaragua's coffee regions, particularly Matagalpa and Jinotega, have become popular destinations for coffee tourism. Visitors can explore coffee farms, learn about the cultivation and processing techniques, and participate in coffee tastings.

Coffee continues to be a significant part of Nicaraguan culture and heritage. The industry plays a vital role in the country's economy and provides livelihoods for many Nicaraguan families.

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 7 best Nicaraguan coffee brands that are currently available. Have a look!

1. Mycotoxin Free Coffee

Roasted By: LifeBoost Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of chocolate & caramel

This one is for the health conscious, low acid coffee enthusiasts out there! Delicious notes of chocolate & caramel and are evident in this smooth, low acid cup.

LifeBoost coffee is well known for their focus on health conscious coffee, and are one of very few roasters to test for mycotoxins. What are mycotoxins? Mycotoxins are toxic, potentially disease causing metabolites produced by a variety mold species. Needless to say, you don't want them in your coffee! LifeBoost coffee is also pesticide free, organic, shade grown and fair trade!

These beans are a little more expensive than some other options, but you truly get what you pay for here - LifeBoost even offers a money back guarantee if you're not satisfied! You can usually find discounts here!

Not available as single serve

2. Jinotega Coffee

Roasted By: Don Tomas Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Sweet, notes of butterscotch & chocolate

Next up we have some beans from Jinetoga! 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 sweetroom-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!

Not available as ground coffee

Not available as single serve

3. Matagalpa Coffee

Roasted By: Three Avocados

Roast: Medium

Taste: Sweet, notes of citrus fruits and 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 & 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.

Not available as ground coffee

Not available as single serve

4. 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 & mellow, with prominent notes of vanilla & 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!

Not available as ground coffee

Not available as single serve

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

5. Río Coco Coffee 

Roasted By: Mayorga Organics

Roast: Medium

Taste: Balanced, notes of earth, nuts and chocolate

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 & 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.

Not available as ground coffee

Not available as single serve

6. Segovia Coffee

Roasted By: Tiny Footprint Coffee

Roast: Dark

Taste: Rich, notes of apricot, spice & nut

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 & 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!

Not available as single serve

7. Organic Nicaraguan Coffee

Roasted By: Coffee Bean Direct

Roast: Light

Taste: Balanced, notes of fruit & earth

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 & 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!

Not available as ground coffee

Not available as single serve

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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