Nicaragua Coffee Plantations can brew a Cup of Excellence
Nicaragua real estate at suitable elevation and temperature is excellent for growing coffee. Plantations on Nicaragua property in the Nueva Segovia region thrive in the favorable weather conditions. Most local plantation owners on Nicaragua real estate sell their coffee beans to cooperatives that pay them for their yield.
The coffee is usually is wet-milled at the farm and dried on patios down to 12-13% moisture content and deliver it to the mill wet. The further drying takes place at a central mill. Farmers on Nicaragua property have learnt that care and attention to detail will produce better coffee. Since 2000, the quality of coffee produced on Nicaragua property and farms is judged at the annual Cup of Excellence contest held in partnership with Asociacion Cafes Especiales de Nicaragua.
The coffees in Nicaragua have a sweet flavor and rich aroma and the contest helps to identify the best coffee produced in the country and make these available to top specialty roasters worldwide. The unique top quality coffee beans selected as the top ten winners are auctioned to the highest bidder at significant premiums. Buyers from the United States, Europe and Japan bid on the top coffees.
This has encouraged farmers to grow better quality coffee including organic varieties. Further encouragement at this year’s contest has come from an American firm, Intelligentsia’s direct trade program. They are willing to buy from farmers directly at prices that are higher than the Fair Trade price for the best quality coffee beans.
Currently farmers who work hard on their Nicaragua property to grow best coffee beans do not earn much more from the cooperatives than those farmers who sell ordinary beans. Intelligentsia plans to pay a premium for excellence. Their belief is that Fair Trade relates to working conditions, not the quality of coffee beans and the only way to improve the lot of the farmers is to encourage them to produce better quality products and reward them handsomely for that. The effort will be to build a direct relationship with the grower and then pay at least 25 percent above the Fair Trade price.