Known as the “Land of Eternal Spring,” Matagalpa, Nicaragua, is nestled in a sprawling valley, full of lush trees, colorful houses, and, of course, coffee. The mountains that bookend Matagalpa are sown thick with high-altitude coffee plants that bear seeds with natural notes of citrus, vanilla, and chocolate-covered nuts, with an occasional wine-like zing coming through. Matagalpa coffee grows bountifully in the region’s volcanic soil, nurtured by the native tropical temperatures (which hover around a cozy 77°F year-round).
Matagalpa’s Steadfast Spirit
Sadly, Matagalpa’s and all of Nicaragua’s history is rife with struggle, from civil war to natural disaster to restrictive import bans, but coffee producers have fought hard to preserve their way of life. That’s where Kenia Ubeda, a coffee farmer and agronomist, comes in. She established the Union de Cooperativas de Cafes Especiales Cordillera Isabelia (UCCEI) in 2009 and got to work building a thriving operation. Ubeda helped restructure the financing for her 900 smallholder members in the region, from whom she sources the highest-quality coffee.
UCCEI rewards producers’ hard work with access to farming best practices training, education, healthcare, better prices for their harvests, and an internal credit fund focused on investing in individual farms and families.
Organic and Fair Trade Certified
UCCEI increases their world marketability by maintaining their organic and Fair Trade certifications. These certifications translate to quality, environmental stewardship, and fair wages. The benefits of organic certification for the producers and the roasters are huge. Certifications give access to markets that might be otherwise unavailable, premium pricing, and eligibility for grants and financial assistance. Fair Trade also ensures better financial compensation for their coffee, with a minimum Fair Trade market price plus up to a 20¢ premium per pound.
Washing and Drying
All UCCEI coffee is fully washed, which is typical of high-quality coffee. Washed coffee is all about the seed, not the cherry. Most specialty coffees are washed because this process gives the most true-to-origin experience, as the mucilage can impart syrupy flavors if left intact during processing. The beans are then spread out in rows to dry in the sun and shifted every 30 – 40 minutes.
Fresh Roasted Coffee
Our fair trade Organic Nicaragua coffee receives high marks in both body and character and is balanced by a medium acidity and sweetness. The smooth body of this Nicaraguan coffee is highlighted by candied lemon flavors topped off with a notable walnut and cocoa finish.
Gallery In Progress
We’re currently gathering photos from all over the world! Check back later.