Our Nicaragua Finca Las Camelias is produced using natural shade and mineral-rich volcanic soil in the famously cloudy hills just outside the city of Jinotega. The city has a storied history, 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 a number of small coffee farms in addition to Las Coronela. The Nicaragua Finca Las Camelias coffee is handpicked, washed, sun dried and cups well with good acidity, a medium body and citrusy lemon notes.
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, and so we’re always pleased to be able to acquire some of these estate offerings like the Nicaragua Finca Las Camelias for our roasters here. As a whole, 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, the majority 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. Nicaragua Finca Las Camelias growers as well as Nicaraguan growers as a whole have long been sensitive to the preservation of the environment and biodiversity, and use methods that prevent soil erosion, deforestation and water contamination.
The Nicaragua Finca Las Camelias estate is part of a large Jinotega growing region where coffee production is permitted, however there is 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 located 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 the majority of the reserve is unexplored. One can only guess the number of species (known and unknown) that reside here! 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 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 track and positive track for both its people as well as its coffee industry.
|Producer:||Finca Las Camelias Estate|
|Variety:||Red & Yellow Caturra|
|Processing:||Washed & Sun Dried|
|Altitude:||3,000 - 4,500 ft (900 - 1370m)|
|Harvest:||November — March|