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Coffee

Our Coffee: El Nisperal produces certified organic (USDA), Bird-Friendly (Smithsonian) coffee under a dense and species-diverse canopy, dominated by towering figs and nisperos, a pre-montane forest community found in the Pacific highlands of Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The shade allows for a slow ripening process in the coffee fruit, and the development of great body and hints of chocolate.

"La Reinita": Bird-friendly shade coffee plot

“La Reinita”: Bird-friendly shade coffee plot

We hand-cultivate our coffee on 15 hectares embedded in 70 hectares of forest at 700-800 meters above sea level, in deep and rich volcanic soils, using no machinery and producing no carbon emissions beyond those emitted by the forest itself. Proper balance of nutrients in the soil is maintained with nitrogen-fixing shade trees, native spreading cover crops, the return of coffee pulp and weed residues to the soil and spot applications of certified organic manures.

Last pick of the year: sorting green and red cherries

Last pick of the year: sorting green and red cherries

El Nisperal’s coffee is harvested between November and March. The fruit is de-pulped, and the beans are fermented overnight and washed with stored rainwater. Resulting parchment coffee is dried, in the hot rays of the summer sun, on the farm to 12% water content.

Our growing and processing methods preserve ground-water quality, build soil organic matter, and support thriving communities of 140 species of birds, 16 species of mammals (excluding bats), 21 species of reptiles, and 5 species of amphibians.

History of El Nisperal: El Nisperal has been a shade coffee farm for more than 100 years.

Painting of the Sierra de Managua harvest by Managua artist Fran León

Painting of the Sierra de Managua harvest by Managua artist Fran León

Nestled in the heart of Nicaragua’s earliest coffee growing region, the Sierra de Managua and Carazo Plateau, it was founded by the Abaunza family of Masaya, whose granddaughter became the first lady of Nicaragua during the 1990’s. Agroecologists Sally Gladstone and Allan Hruska bought the farm in 1995 and converted it in the first year to organic production. The farm has served several universities in Central America as a site for field visits focused on sustainable agriculture, thesis research, and college internships.

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