In our quest to discover great flavours each month, we’ve now landed a particularly excellent coffee from Nicaragua. These days the country is well-established for its desirable coffees, despite difficult historical conditions for coffee farming. Political turmoil from the 1970s to the 1990s, followed by a global crash in coffee prices, succeeded by the devastating hurricane Mitch in 1998 and then a severe drought at the turn of the century; Nicaragua has had its share of setbacks.
However, more recently coffee farming has taken off again and now contributes considerably to the nation’s GDP, providing thousands of coffee farming families with livelihoods.
One such coffee family is located in the mountainous Jinotega region, where Máximo Rodriguez inherited Finca La Venus from his father. Originally a farm that produced grain, cattle and some poor quality coffee, Máximo saw potential in turning things around by focussing on speciality coffee. By improving his post-harvest techniques and making smart investments on the farm, La Venus now produces excellent coffee and this has become the principal activity on the farm.
We are particularly excited this month to introduce the Java variety to Handpicked for the first time. This variety has genetic ties to the famed Gesha variety of Ethiopia. It was first selected and named on the island of Java, Indonesia before being introduced to the Americas in the 1990s. Java produces a flavour profile not widely seen throughout Central America. Expect floral notes typically associated with African coffees but with the structure and balance of a Nicaraguan coffee.