Nestled in the northern region of Nicaragua lies the lush and vibrant coffee-growing region of Nueva Segovia. Pronounced as "new-ay-vah seh-goh-vee-yah," this area is located near the border of Honduras and is home to some of the highest altitudes in the country, with coffee farms ranging from 1200 to 1800 meters above sea level. One interesting fact about Nueva Segovia is that it is responsible for producing some of Nicaragua's most prized and award-winning coffees.
The history of coffee cultivation in Nueva Segovia dates back to the late 19th century. However, it was not until the 1920s that the region started to gain recognition for its coffee-growing potential. The unique combination of high altitude, fertile volcanic soils, and a favorable climate allowed the coffee plants to thrive, producing exceptional beans with distinctive flavors and aromas. Over the years, Nueva Segovia has continued to develop its coffee industry, with farmers constantly improving their practices to ensure the production of high-quality beans.
The majority of coffee farms in Nueva Segovia are small, family-owned operations that have been passed down through generations. These farmers take great pride in their work and are dedicated to preserving the traditional farming methods that have been used in the region for decades.
The coffee plants in Nueva Segovia are primarily grown under shade, which not only helps to protect the plants from the intense sun but also promotes a slower maturation process, allowing the beans to develop more complex flavors. The use of shade also encourages biodiversity and provides a habitat for various bird species, which in turn helps to control pests naturally.
In terms of processing, most coffee in Nueva Segovia and Nicaragua, in general, is processed using the washed method. This involves the removal of the outer skin and pulp from the coffee cherries, followed by fermentation to break down the remaining mucilage. The beans are then washed and dried, either on raised beds or patios. This method is known for producing clean and consistent coffee with bright acidity and distinct flavors.
Coffees from Nueva Segovia are renowned for their bright acidity, medium body, and well-balanced flavor profiles. The high altitude and volcanic soils contribute to the development of complex flavors and aromas in the beans. Typical tasting notes for Nueva Segovia coffees include citrus, red fruits, floral, and chocolate.
One of the most famous coffees from this region is the Maracaturra variety, which is a hybrid of the Maragogype and Caturra varieties. This coffee is known for its exceptional cup quality, showcasing bright acidity, a silky body, and flavors of tropical fruits, caramel, and cocoa.
Nueva Segovia is home to several award-winning farms and producers, who have gained recognition both nationally and internationally for their exceptional coffees. One such example is Finca Los Pinos, owned by the Peralta family, which has consistently placed in the top ranks of the Cup of Excellence competition. The farm is known for its dedication to sustainable farming practices and the production of high-quality, traceable coffees.
As the specialty coffee industry continues to grow, so does the recognition and appreciation for the unique and delicious coffees produced in Nueva Segovia. The region's rich history, coupled with the dedication and passion of its farmers, ensures that Nueva Segovia will continue to be a significant player in the world of specialty coffee.