Nicaragua Los Nubarrones
Region: Nueva Segovia
Altitude: 1,450 - 1,700 m.a.s.l.
Steampunk hasn’t roasted a coffee from Nicaragua since 2019 so we’re excited to launch this one from Los Nubarrones. This coffee stands apart for its sweetness, its super full body and its remarkable flavour profile. It brings to mind syrupy tinned peaches and sweet yellow plums accented by warm cinnamon and mixed spice. The spice paired with the sweetness and creamy body evokes pain au raisin or bread pudding. There’s a compelling floral note as well that kept us tasting again to try to describe it. It’s in the lavender-jasmine-honeysuckle arena. To top it all off the whole shebang is underpinned by toasted hazelnut and malted milk chocolate.
Los Nubarrones is located in the highlands of Nueva Segovia, on the northern border of Nicaragua. This 9.5 hectare farm is owned by Mariano Rafael Montealegre Callejas, who purchased it in 2010. The farm operates with three permanent employees and expands to a team of 12 during the harvest season. Planted at altitudes ranging from 1,450 to 1,700 metres above sea level, Los Nubarrones grows the Java variety of coffee under the shade of liquidambar, pine and guava trees. From the start Mariano and his partner Emir have planted only Java trees because this variety thrives in the sandy loam soil found in the region. The harvest season begins in December and concludes in April, a period when the farm buzzes with activities related to picking, processing and sorting the coffee cherries.
This is a washed coffee, which means that after picking the cherries were wet milled and then fermented for 18 to 24 hours to remove the fruit from the bean. What’s left is known as parchment coffee because the beans are surrounded by a layer of papery parchment at this stage. Mariano then delivers the wet parchment to a nearby mill, Cafetos De Segovia, to be dried and processed.
Cafetos de Segovia is a dry mill located in Ocotal, right in the middle of a few coffee growing areas, which makes it ideal for producers to deliver their wet parchment the same day as they harvest and process it. It’s a family business owned by two sisters from a local coffee producing family. Martha and Ana started the business 5 years ago when they realised the prices paid for coffee were really low in the region and that the quality they could produce in their own farm was actually pretty good. They then decided to create the dry mill to add value to their product. Now they process their own coffee and coffee from 47 other producers in the area.
Most of the coffee processed at Cafetos de Segovia is washed, like this one, but they’ve recently invested in a new greenhouse to process experimental lots and more delicate varieties. For washed coffees they usually start drying them on a patio in the shade for 5 to 6 days and then in the sun. This careful drying means that the coffee will dry at an even rate, will be more stable and will therefore age less quickly.
A note about packaging
Our coffee comes packaged in beautiful and hard wearing tins. It is important to keep those beans away from air and light (see our blog post about coffee storage) and we think tins are the very best way of keeping those guys fresh.
Tins can of course be easily recycled (with other metals) but the very best and most environmentally conscious thing to do with them is to refill them. Find out how to refill or dispose of your Steampunk packaging HERE.