Most of Nicaragua’s coffee is grown at altitudes between 800 and 1400 metres, falling into the Strictly High Grown (SHG) categorisation used in several Central American countries. Key growing regions include the mountainous areas of Matagalpa and Jinotega, though it is Nueva Segovia that is heralded as Nicaragua’s premier growing region, particularly the Cordillera de Dipilto – a mountainous area which runs along the Honduran border. This region regularly produces Cup of Excellence winning lots as the farms here are blessed with altitudes of up to 1500 masl and excellent climatic conditions. The close proximity of the mills to the farms in this region also proves to be highly advantageous in terms of maintaining quality.
Producers are now starting to focus on alternative processing methods such as honey and naturals in order to add value, with the standard washed coffee not having the same distinctive characteristics that other origins do, and not commanding the same prices. Many producers are also planting new varietals, such as Pacamara and Geisha and replanting Java – an Ethiopian varietal originally brought to Central America in the 1800’s.
Finca Bethania was founded in 1991 in the heart of Nueva Segovia. The farm is 42 hectares planted with Caturra, Catuai, Catimor, Maracaturra and java.
Ana and Martha Albir are third-generation coffee producers and their great-grandfather has owned land in Nueva Segovia since 1930.
Within their goal of being a producer that adheres to principles of sustainability and environmental protection, Finca Bethania not only recycles water used in the production process returning only clean water to the rivers but also takes particular care in preserving the natural forest together with the ecosystem and wildlife. Since 2014, Finca Bethania is certified by the Rainforest Alliance.