Discover the rich and flavorful world of Nicaraguan coffee with our curated list of the best coffee brands from this Central American gem.
Renowned for its volcanic soil and ideal climate, Nicaragua produces coffee beans that boast unique and complex profiles.
In this post, we explore the best 9 Nicaraguan coffee brands that stand out for their exceptional quality, distinct flavors, and commitment to sustainable practices.
From the lush landscapes of Jinotega to the sun-kissed plantations in Matagalpa, each brand on our list brings a piece of Nicaragua’s coffee culture to your cup.
9 Best Nicaraguan Coffee Brands: At A Glance
- Lifeboost Grata Medium Roast: Best Overall
- Volcanica Jinotega Region Nicaragua Coffee: Runner-Up
- Cafe Ole Organics Nicaraguan Single-Serve Coffee Cups: Best Single-Serve Pods
- Out Of The Grey Prococer Nicaraguan Coffee
- Cafe Las Flores Grandes Cosechas Nicaraguan Gourmet Coffee Blend
- Fresh Roasted Coffee Organic Nicaraguan Medium Roast
- Tiny Footprint Coffee Nicaragua Segovia
- Patria Nicaragua Dark Roast Ground Coffee
- Cubico Coffee Nicaragua Whole Bean
1. Lifeboost Grata Medium Roast: Best Overall
If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you likely know we’re big fans of Lifeboost.
What you might not know is that all their tasty coffee comes from Nicaragua’s mountains, and their Medium Roast is a fantastic way to savor the region’s unique coffee flavors.
Lifeboost’s Grata Medium Roast is well-loved for its balanced and smooth taste, perfect for pour-over, cold brew, French press, or drip brewing.
It’s naturally low-acid, artisan-roasted in small batches for a rich flavor that’s gentle on the stomach.
This non-GMO, single-origin, and specialty coffee has a pH test showing it’s up to 27.7% less acidic than common store-bought coffees.
It’s shade-grown, sun-dried, and lab-tested to be heavy metal-free, pesticide-free, and mycotoxin-free.
Hand-picked from exclusive Central American mountain farms, it’s bird-friendly and pure.
Grata Medium Roast comes in various sizes and has received many positive reviews for its great taste and mild flavor.
Available as whole beans, ground coffee, or coffee pods, it’s Lifeboost’s most popular selection.
Full-bodied with rounded flavors, it’s reminiscent of a chocolate-covered fig, creamy and nutty with a hint of dried fruit.
Though a bit pricey, it comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Lifeboost also offers a subscription service for those who want these coffee beans regularly, which will result in savings in the long run.
In summary, we believe Lifeboost offers the best Nicaraguan coffee on the market.
- Exceptional flavor profile
- Grown in Nicaragua’s mountainous regions
- Balanced and smooth taste
- Low-acid, easy on the stomach
- Artisan-roasted in small batches
- Non-GMO, single-origin, and specialty
- Shade-grown, sun-dried, and lab-tested for purity
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- Subscription service for long-term savings
- Relatively higher price point
2. Volcanica Jinotega Region Nicaragua Coffee: Runner-Up
We’ve recently become big fans of Volcanica, and it’s no surprise that their Nicaragua Coffee secured the runner-up spot in our list of top Nicaraguan coffee brands.
The Jinotega region, where it’s sourced, is famous for top-notch coffee thanks to its perfect growing conditions – high altitude, rich volcanic soil, and a friendly climate.
This coffee’s softer medium roast brings a balanced and mellow experience.
It’s smooth and easy to drink, with no flavor overpowering the others.
The notes of apple, cherry, raspberry, and rose make it stand out even among Nicaraguan coffees.
It’s a lighter brew but still delicious.
What’s cool is that it’s a micro-lot coffee, meaning it comes from one farm’s single crop, providing a super specific flavor profile.
The washed process keeps the flavors crisp and clean, ensuring a muddled-free brew.
Volcanica emphasizes freshness, streamlining the production process from harvest to packaging, so you’re guaranteed a fresh cup every time.
Worried you might not love it? No problem, Volcanica offers a money-back guarantee, making it a low-risk choice.
Just note that because of its distinct flavor, it’s recommended to enjoy it black without cream and sugar, as this can ruin the flavor experience.
- Sourced from Jinotega, renowned for high-quality coffee
- Ideal growing conditions with high altitude and volcanic soil
- Softer medium roast for a balanced and mellow taste
- Unique flavor notes of apple, cherry, raspberry, and rose
- Micro-lot coffee for a specific flavor profile
- Washed process for crisp and clean flavors
- Emphasis on freshness with streamlined production
- Money-back guarantee for a low-risk choice
- Mixing it with cream and sugar might ruin the flavor experience
3. Cafe Ole Organics Nicaraguan Single-Serve Coffee Cups: Best Single-Serve Pods
If you love your Keurig coffee maker and want a hassle-free way to savor Nicaraguan coffee, check out Cafe Ole Organics Nicaraguan Single-Serve Coffee Cups.
These are convenient pods filled with 100% Arabica beans, carefully roasted for that specific Nicaraguan flavor.
Perfectly tailored for Keurig, these pods brew a medium-bodied, balanced mug with mild acidity and a touch of smokiness – just what you need for a versatile and tasty Keurig experience.
The coffee’s depth allows you to play with different strengths on your Keurig, and it welcomes cream or sugar for added delight.
Note, though that these pods are exclusive to Keurig 2.0 machines only.
- Convenient single-serve pods for Keurig lovers
- 100% Arabica beans roasted with precision
- Single-origin for a specific Nicaraguan flavor
- Medium-bodied, balanced with mild acidity and smokiness
- Versatile for different Keurig machine settings
- Great with cream or sugar
- Compatible only with Keurig 2.0 machines
4. Out Of The Grey Prococer Nicaraguan Coffee
Out of the Grey Coffee may be a newcomer, but it’s making waves by offering unique and exclusive beans without breaking the bank.
Their Single Origin PROCOCER Nicaraguan Fair Trade Coffee is a standout, grown through the Nicaraguan Small Farmers and Ranchers Union (UNAG) initiative.
This program provides crucial support to individual, organic coffee producers in various Nicaraguan municipalities.
PROCOCER coffee is celebrated for its reliable cup profile – bright acidity, full body, and a balanced mix of deep tobacco, sweet vanilla, and subtle fruit flavors.
Sourced from Nicaragua’s PROCOCER cooperative, this coffee not only ensures high standards and sustainable practices but also contributes to community development and fair prices for farmers.
Part of the Association of Cooperatives of Small-Scale Producers (CAFENICA) and the CECOCAFEN central coordinating union of coops, PROCOCER is the go-to for pre-harvest financing, export channels, and quality control for Fair Trade and organic green coffee.
Out of the Grey Coffee’s Single Origin PROCOCER Nicaraguan coffee is a clean, well-balanced delight with notes of honey, chocolate, toffee, subtle peach, and toasted almond.
Its syrupy body and bold finish make it a perfect choice for those with digestive concerns or a preference for low-acidic, antioxidant-rich coffees.
And for roast level, it sits comfortably at a medium-dark roast.
- Medium-dark roast for a rich coffee experience
- Sourced from PROCOCER cooperative for high standards and sustainability
- Community development and fair prices for farmers
- Clean, well-balanced flavor profile with honey, chocolate, toffee, peach, and almond notes
- Syrupy body and long-lasting bold finish
- Suitable for coffee drinkers with digestive issues or a preference for low-acidic options
- The flavor profile might not suit everyone’s taste
5. Cafe Las Flores Grandes Cosechas Nicaraguan Gourmet Coffee Blend
Café Las Flores Grandes Cosechas Nicaraguan Gourmet Coffee Blend is a premium brew crafted from top-notch Arabica beans cultivated in Nicaragua.
Sourced specifically from the bountiful harvests near the Mombacho Volcano in the Matagalpa and Jinotega coffee regions, these gourmet beans thrive at an altitude of 1200m, resulting in a more intricate and flavorful experience for your taste buds.
Whether you prefer ground or whole-bean coffee, this blend caters to both, offering a medium roast that strikes a perfect balance with a delightful flavor profile.
Expect notes of chocolate and the sweet essence of lime, creating a smooth and refined taste.
Beyond its deliciousness, this coffee packs a health punch with high levels of antioxidants.
However, it’s fair to note that these beans lean slightly towards the bitter side.
But if you’re a fan of bold flavors, this may just be your perfect cup.
- Premium blend with high-quality Arabica beans
- Grown at an altitude of 1200m for richer and more complex flavors
- Medium roast for a balanced body
- Flavor profile includes hints of chocolate and sweet lime
- Smooth and refined taste
- Offers health benefits in addition to great taste
- Slightly bitter taste may not appeal to those who prefer milder coffee
6. Fresh Roasted Coffee Organic Nicaraguan Medium Roast
Fresh Roasted Coffee’s Organic Nicaraguan Medium Roast is a fair trade, organic brew that brings you a smooth body, balanced acidity, and a touch of sweetness.
This coffee is a delightful blend featuring sweet lemon flavors, a distinctive walnut and cocoa finish, and subtle tones of cocoa and walnut.
The Arabica beans, including bourbon, caturra, catuai, catimor, and maragogype varieties, are harvested in Matagalpa between November and March.
The beans undergo a full washing process and are sun-dried on patios.
Crafted by the Cooperativa Multifuncional Family Coffee R.L. (COMULFAC), a local family-owned cooperative established in 2013, this coffee goes beyond just great taste.
COMULFAC’s mission is to empower local farming families by organizing resources and efforts, ensuring they receive higher premiums for their coffee.
These premiums support social projects that enhance the farmers’ and their families’ quality of life.
This 100% organic coffee is not only kosher certified but also sustainably sourced, roasted, blended, and packaged in the USA.
However, it’s fair to note that there’s a touch of bitterness to this coffee, which might not suit those who prefer a milder taste.
- Fairtrade, organic coffee
- Smooth body, balanced acidity, and sweetness
- Fully washed and patio sun-dried
- Supports local farmers with higher premiums and social projects
- 100% organic, kosher certified, sustainably sourced
- Roasted, blended, and packaged in the USA
- Some bitterness in the taste
7. Tiny Footprint Coffee Nicaragua Segovia
Tiny Footprint is a roaster on a mission to make coffee more eco-friendly.
Their Nicaragua Segovia coffee is not only organic, fair trade, and carbon-negative, but it also supports reforestation in Ecuador.
A conscious buy that’s also great in your cup.
This dark roast gem comes from family-owned farms under the umbrella cooperative PRODECOOP in Nicaragua’s Estelí, Madriz, and Nueva Segovia departments.
Fully washed and sun-dried, the blend of Catuai, Caturra, Bourbon, and Typica varieties gives it sultry, bold dark roast tones with hints of chocolate, bright apricot, fig, and spice.
Roasted in small batches, Tiny Footprint ensures you get the freshest possible roast when you order.
But if you’re a fan of really bold and intense dark roasts, this might not be your top pick.
Consider this dark roast if you lean toward a medium-dark profile, as the flavors are not as strong as other dark roasts, preserving the unique qualities found in lighter roasts.
- Eco-friendly mission with organic, fair trade, and carbon-negative coffee
- Supports reforestation efforts in Ecuador
- Available in both whole-bean and ground options
- Dark roast with sultry tones of chocolate, apricot, fig, and spice
- Fully washed and sun-dried for quality
- Roasted in small batches for freshness
- May not suit those seeking really bold and intense dark roasts
8. Patria Nicaragua Dark Roast Ground Coffee
Expand your coffee horizons by exploring different roasters, and Patria’s Nicaraguan blend is a delightful surprise.
Crafted from 100% Arabica beans cultivated on mountainside “fincas” in Nicaragua, ranging from 3600 to 5250 feet above sea level, this single-origin coffee promises the full Nicaraguan coffee experience.
In this rich and delicious dark roast, you’ll find a mild, fruity brightness and higher-toned flavor notes like citrus and floral.
This versatile profile means it brews excellently in various methods – pour-over, French press, or your trusty coffee machine.
Conveniently packaged in a 12 oz size, you can grab it online from Amazon, Walmart, and other retailers.
However, it’s worth noting that this is a blend from different Nicaraguan farms, so you won’t get as specific a profile as you would with a micro-lot coffee.
Still, it’s a fantastic choice to add some Nicaraguan flair to your coffee routine.
- Surprising and delightful blend from Patria
- 100% Arabica beans from mountainside “fincas” in Nicaragua
- Single-origin for a full Nicaraguan coffee experience
- Rich and delicious dark roast with mild, fruity brightness
- Versatile flavor profile with citrus and floral notes
- Blend from various Nicaraguan farms, less specific profile than micro-lot coffee
9. Cubico Coffee Nicaragua Whole Bean
Wrapping up our list is Cubico Coffee’s Nicaragua Whole Bean—a single-origin, organic delight hailing from Nicaragua’s Segovia region.
Cultivated organically and roasted in small batches, this medium roast preserves the coffee’s complex flavors and intense aroma.
The flavor profile is bright and well-balanced, featuring citrus notes alongside herbal and nutty undertones.
Opting for whole beans? Cubico Coffee’s got you covered, allowing you to maximize freshness and control your grind coarseness.
The packaging includes a one-way valve to lock in that freshly roasted taste.
However, it’s essential to consider a couple of downsides.
Firstly, the price per ounce is relatively high compared to other options, making it one of the pricier coffees on our list.
Additionally, some users have noted a very bitter aftertaste, detracting from the overall experience.
For the cost, there may be better coffee options out there.
- Single-origin, organic coffee from Nicaragua’s Segovia region
- Organically cultivated and freshly roasted in small batches
- Medium roast preserves complex flavors and intense aroma
- Bright and well-balanced flavor profile with citrus, herbal, and nutty notes
- Packaging includes a one-way valve to retain freshly roasted taste
- Higher price per ounce compared to other options
- Some users report a very bitter aftertaste
Brief History Of Nicaraguan Coffee
Nicaragua boasts a rich coffee heritage, cultivating this beloved crop for over 170 years.
The coffee journey began in the 1850s, gaining momentum until it became the country’s primary export by 1870.
Credit for coffee’s introduction goes to German immigrants in 1850, who shared their cultivation and processing expertise.
Nicaragua’s coffee industry endured challenges—environmental damage, political instability, civil unrest, and natural disasters.
Despite setbacks, it demonstrated remarkable resilience, earning global recognition as the 11th largest coffee producer.
Today, Nicaragua’s coffee sector contributes over $448 million annually to exports, comprising 8.2% of total exports and providing 200,000 jobs.
The heart of coffee production lies in three northern regions—Jinotega, Matagalpa, and Nueva Segovia—housing 85% of Arabica coffee plantations.
Nicaragua’s economy relies significantly on agriculture, with coffee contributing 30% to exports.
Small-scale farmers, constituting 95% of coffee growers, rely on family labor.
The history of Nicaraguan coffee weaves a tale of resilience, innovation, and quality, playing a vital role in both the nation’s economy and culture.
Where Is Nicaraguan Coffee Grown?
Nicaragua, nestled between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator, enjoys an ideal coffee-growing location within the renowned “Bean Belt.”
This global zone, stretching 25 degrees north and 30 degrees south of the Equator, offers prime conditions for cultivating and harvesting coffee plants.
In Nicaragua, the North Central Region, encompassing Esteli, Jinotega, Madriz, Matagalpa, and Nueva Segovia, serves as the hub for coffee cultivation.
When you seek Nicaraguan coffee, chances are it hails from these regions, each showcasing unique characteristics.
The coffee produced in Esteli, Jinotega, Madriz, Matagalpa, and Nueva Segovia is celebrated for its well-balanced, full-bodied, and flavorful profile.
Nicaragua boasts a variety of popular coffee types, including Marogogipe, Pacamara, Bourbon, Catuai, Geisha, and Pacas.
In recent years, Nicaragua’s coffee production has steadily increased.
For the 2018/19 coffee year, there was a noteworthy 3.4% growth, reaching a total of 2.9 million 60kg bags.
This expansion underlines Nicaragua’s prominence as a flourishing coffee-producing region.
What is the Flavour Profile of Nicaragua coffee?
Nicaraguan coffee is known for its medium body, mild acidity, and a touch of fruity or caramel sweetness.
It boasts a gentle, fruity brightness with higher-toned characteristics like citrus and floral notes, steering away from lower-toned sensations such as papaya/apricot and chocolate.
Reviews highlight rich yet subtle flavors, a well-balanced sweetness, and a nutty bouquet often featuring hints of vanilla.
In Nicaraguan coffees, you can anticipate a harmonious blend of sweetness and bitterness, with the specific fruitiness varying between roasters.
The flavor notes of Nicaraguan coffee can vary, but some common ones include:
- Medium body
- Bittersweet taste
- Pungent aroma
- Citrus and floral sensations
- Semisweet chocolate tones
- Nutty bouquet with hints of vanilla and caramel
Is Nicaraguan Coffee Arabica?
Yes, Nicaraguan coffee is Arabica.
It is predominantly crafted from 100% Arabica beans.
Renowned for its mild acidity, medium body, and delightful fruity or caramel sweetness, Nicaraguan coffee encompasses flavor notes such as citrus and floral sensations.
The prime regions for coffee cultivation, such as Jinotega, Matagalpa, and Nueva Segovia, benefit from volcanic soil and a tropical climate, fostering the growth of high-quality Arabica coffee beans.
Buyer’s Guide To The Best Nicaraguan Coffee
Single-Origin vs. Blends
When selecting the best Nicaraguan coffee, consider whether you prefer a single-origin or a blend.
Single-origin coffees, like those from specific regions in Nicaragua such as Jinotega or Segovia, offer a distinct flavor profile unique to that area.
On the other hand, blends combine beans from different regions, providing a more diverse and complex taste.
Nicaraguan coffees come in various roast levels, including light, medium, and dark.
Each level imparts different flavors to the coffee.
Light roasts maintain the original bean characteristics, highlighting the nuances of Nicaraguan terroir.
Medium roasts balance flavor and acidity, while dark roasts bring out bold and smoky notes.
Altitude and Growing Region
Nicaragua’s diverse topography contributes to the unique characteristics of its coffee.
Beans grown at higher altitudes, typically above 1,200 meters, tend to have a more complex flavor profile.
Coffees from regions like Jinotega and Matagalpa are renowned for their high-altitude cultivation, producing beans with nuanced and vibrant flavors.
Certification and Sustainability
Look for coffees with certifications such as organic, fair trade, or Rainforest Alliance.
These certifications ensure that the coffee is produced using environmentally friendly and socially responsible practices.
Organic certification means the coffee is grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, while fair trade certification ensures fair wages for farmers.
Nicaraguan coffees are known for their bright acidity, medium body, and unique flavor notes.
Consider the flavor profile that appeals to you, whether it’s the fruity and citrusy notes of some coffees or the chocolatey and nutty undertones found in others.
Read product descriptions or reviews to get an idea of the specific flavor characteristics of the coffee you’re considering.
The processing method used on the coffee beans can significantly impact the flavor.
Common methods include washed, natural, and honey processing.
Washed coffees often have cleaner and brighter flavors, while natural processing can result in fruitier and more intense profiles.
Whole Beans vs. Grounds
Decide whether you prefer whole beans or pre-ground coffee.
Whole beans offer more control over the grind size, preserving freshness until brewing.
If convenience is a priority, pre-ground coffee is a time-saver, but it may sacrifice some flavor nuances due to the exposure to air.
Price and Value
Evaluate the price per ounce or pound in relation to the quality and attributes of the coffee.
While some high-quality Nicaraguan coffees may be on the pricier side, they often offer a superior taste experience.
Consider your budget and whether the coffee’s characteristics justify the cost.
Reviews and Ratings
Before making a purchase, explore customer reviews and ratings.
Real-world experiences from other coffee enthusiasts can provide valuable insights into the quality, flavor, and overall satisfaction with a particular Nicaraguan coffee brand or blend.
Look for consistency in positive reviews to gauge the coffee’s reliability.
Packaging and Freshness
Opt for coffee that is packaged to preserve freshness.
Look for features such as one-way valves, which allow gases from freshly roasted coffee to escape without letting air in.
Additionally, choose a package size that aligns with your consumption rate to ensure you enjoy the coffee at its peak flavor.
The Best Way To Brew Nicaraguan Coffee
When brewing Nicaraguan coffee, opt for medium, dark, or very dark roasted beans.
This extended roasting imparts a rich yet nuanced character to the coffee.
If you fancy a dark, Vienna, or Full City roast, especially for homemade espresso, these beans are ideal.
Specifically, those from the Jinotega and Matagalpa regions excel in very dark roasts, delivering a deep, well-balanced cup.
Given Nicaraguan coffee’s mild and balanced flavor, avoid using boiling water.
Let it cool a bit after boiling before pouring over the grounds.
Choose your brewing method based on preference—drip coffee, French press, pour-over, or espresso.
Cold brew is also excellent, enhancing flavors and reducing acidity.
Nicaraguan coffee shines in long black or Americano, as well as various milk-based espresso drinks.
The versatility extends to roasting, from medium to very dark.
Experiment with different methods, adjusting grind size, water temperature, and coffee-to-water ratio to match your taste preferences.
The Verdict: What Is The Best Nicaraguan Coffee?
Our #1 Choice
Lifeboost Grata Medium Roast stood out as the top choice for its exceptional balance, smooth flavor profile, and unique regional notes.
From its low acidity to artisanal roasting, it consistently delivers a rich and enjoyable coffee experience.
The commitment to quality, organic practices, and unique taste set it apart, making it our top pick for the best Nicaraguan coffee.
The Runner Up
Volcanica Jinotega Region Nicaragua Coffee earned the runner-up spot for its impressive representation of Nicaraguan coffee excellence.
Sourced from the renowned Jinotega region, it captures the essence of high-altitude cultivation, providing a well-balanced and mellow cup.
The commitment to quality and the unique flavor profile make it a commendable choice, securing its position as a top contender.