Beans: Nicaragua Selva Negra, Bourbon/Caturra/Catuai, Washed, Nicaragua.
Shop: Out of the Grey, webshop, Pennsylvania, USA.
Nicaragua Selva Negra – Background information.
The Nicaragua Selva Negra is a very special coffee in the way that it leaves a negative carbon footprint and it is something the farmholders are very proud of. The German family Kuhl purchased the farm in 1975 and immediately started to work towards a company that focusses on sustainability and better working conditions to the workers. To give an example: The Kuhl family’s restaurant and lodge use solar and hydro-electric energy to operate. They also use methane from manure to cook food and fertilize more than a million coffee plants with organic compost each year. This farm is so efficient that it isnt just carbon neurtral, it actually gives back to mother nature. According to Kühl (2013), Selva Negra absorbs 580 tons of carbon dioxide and emits only 201.8 tons.
Aside form the high-tech equipment, there is also the story about the farm and the workers. Normally the farm holds over 200 workers, but during the harvest period that number might go up to around 600. All of the workers get three meals, there is a health clinic and the children go to school every day.
The Selva Negra is made out of Bourbon, Caturra and Catuai and is grown on an altitude between 1400 and 1600 meters above sea level. The plants are composted with organic waste that comes from the farm itself. The coffeefarm is shaded by trees that carry lemons, papayas and passion fruit.
Nicaragua Selva Negra – Opening the package.
The package of Out of the Grey comes with a degassing valve and a ziplock, essential to keep your beans fresh. Underneath the logo you can find some information on the coffee, mouthfeel and acidity for example. The package is coloured beige and the ziplock is easily accessible. When I open the package a soft caramel sweetness comes forth that also carries a hint of toast. I take a bean to chew on and a soft short sourness comes forth that changes over into bitterness. I do not notice any flavours that come back later in the brew. I grind my first bit of coffee and the scent gets more pungent. The coffee is roasted medium dark and the colour is that of a darker beige. A white pepper and toast take over the aromatics when I smell the grounds. Let’s brew this baby!
Nicaragua Selva Negra – The Tasting.
The coffee flows out of my ECM Giotto and the beige colour changes from dark to light, leaving a speckled espresso in my cup. The scent of the brew is woody, soft fruity and a little hint of pepper is still on the nose. I take a sip and notice the fruitiness of this coffee stimulating my tongue immediately together with a bright acidity. The sweetness reminds me of a liquorice kind of sweetness. I get a soft smokey and woody taste combined with chocolate and a peppery aspect on the roof of my mouth. A orange like aspect comes forth as well and, together with the oily mouthfeel, it changes in the aftertaste where grapefruit tannins, faint caramel and chocolate take over. There is a lot going on in my mouth but not too overwhelming, and so I suddenly notice that I had quite a few espresso’s at the end of the day.
Nicaragua Selva Negra – The Verdict.
This is a very special coffee in the sense that youre actually helping the environment by drinking it. The aromas and flavours are those that you can expect in a Nicaragua but still there is a little ‘something’ to this coffee. A lot is happening on the palette, but it does not overwhelm your senses at all. Drinking this coffee all day should not be a problem because of the medium body, bright medium acidity and favourable flavours and aftertaste. So if you want to help the environment AND have a very nice cup of coffee…do not look any further!