Growing Regions

The two most common regions are Jinotega and Matagalpa, but they are rarely labeled or sold by region as the two regions have similar harvests in most regards. Most of the coffee is sorted and sold by altitude, with SHG (strictly high grown) beans being at the top of the mountain and (HB) Hard Bean being a little lower and cheaper (although still pretty good in the overall picture). The very best Nicaraguan coffees are not going to blow you away. Because of the very low acidity, very little aftertaste, and minimal complexity, Nicaragua is my favorite bean to use for flavored coffee.   Nicaragua is the most common country for finding the Margogype varietal, which is a bean extraordinary large in size ("elephant bean").  Unfortunately, the Margogype varietal is not known for its taste quality, and is more of a novelty coffee than something to seek out.

Roasting Guide

Roasted just maybe 20-30 seconds past the end of the 1st cracks lends itself well to being an every day coffee, or for adding solid flavoring components. Take it almost to the 2ndcracks to add oil flavorings.As a drip coffee, Nicaragua is a really nice, albeit unordinary, mug of coffee, and one of my favorites from the Central American region. You do have to use your imagination a bit to pick up the undertones, but the lighter roasts will have creamy milk chocolate hints and occasionally mild citrus notes; and at the 2nd cracks you can find the same subtle character but with a generally pleasing richer body. French Roast is good, although nothing special.


The mountainous country of Nicaragua is well suited for growing specialty coffee, and you find a large variety of offerings with every certification in the book at very little premium in price over the non-certified crops.

Nicaraguan coffee is a washed process bean, and while I’ve had natural and pulped natural Nicaraguan experiments, I don’t see them becoming popular.