Let’s begin by getting some terminology straight: when it comes to wine – you indulge yourself with a bit of “wine tasting”. But when it comes to a steaming cup of coffee the process is called “cupping” – that’s the procedure used by professional tasters to evaluate the standard of the smell, taste and look of samples of coffee beans and cups of coffee.
Now that we’ve established that, you coffee-lovers out there will likely be thrilled to learn that you can spend some time on Nicaragua’s only sustainable coffee plantation. The Selva Negra Coffee Plantation in Nicaragua welcomes visitors to its wide open spaces year-round. If you ever had the desire to exercise in a coffee forest or observe the true process - from picking the bean to brewing that first pot in the morning - this is your chance.
The Selva Negra staff works year-round in preparation for the peak coffee bean harvesting season, which falls between mid-November and mid-February. The coffee harvest is an exciting time at Selva Negra, as it is in most coffee estates, because there is so much activity. Additional help is hired during this time because there is such an amazing amount of work to be done. This includes hand picking each red bean in each of the plantillos at the estate.
Selva Negra is what is referred to a "shaded coffee plantation". This usually means that the coffee is grown under the protective shade of the trees. At Selva Negra the trees that protect the coffee are mostly made up of older hardwood trees typical of the area. Visitors like yourself can experience and even assist in every phase of the operation.
For information on the Selva Negra Resort or other hotel accommodations, check the hotels link.
Getting there is easy: an express bus from the Managua airport takes approximately two hours to reach Matagalpa, the nearest city to Selva Negra. Make sure you tell the driver you are coming to Selva Negra. Once in Matagalpa, you will turn towards Jinotega which is North of Matagalpa. This is another highway that will lead you on a straight path upwards towards Selva Negra. It will take you about fifteen minutes to reach the entrance to Selva Negra from Matagalpa.
The smell of coffee is a dead give-away that you’ve arrived.