Nicaragua Selva Negra Coffee – From Seed to Service

Nicaragua Selva Negra Coffee From Stockton GrahamThere is something very endearing about a true crop-to-cup story in the world of coffee, as is the story of Nicaragua Selva Negra coffee.

From a farm in Nicaragua to an importer in Georgia to a coffee roaster in North Carolina, this is a true story of partnership at coffee’s source. And this isn’t just buzz or marketing. Stockton Graham & Co. is supporting the Selva Negra farmers every step of the way: from seed to service.

Meet the Kuhl-Hayn family: Eddy Kühl and Mausi Hayn. They are the owners of the Selva Negra coffee estate in Nicaragua. Their daughter Heddy Franklin and her husband Steve Franklin live in Atlanta, GA where they run a coffee importing company called Beanealogy. Their company also serves their coffee in a shop called JavaVino.

For years, we have been buying beans from Steve. We roast them to bring out their delicious honey and caramel aromas and their smoothly sweet chocolate flavors that are part of what makes Nicaragua Selva Negra coffee so special.

On the Farm with Stockton Graham & Co.

In addition to offering roasted beans from the estate, Stockton Graham & Co. has had the pleasure of visiting and working with the Kuhl-Hayn family in Nicaragua.

Nicaragua Selva Negra CoffeeOur roasting team spent some time on the Nicaragua Selva Negra coffee estate. We assisted with organic farming, sustainable milling and processing. We also helped with the vast social, medical, educational, professional and cultural services the Selva Negra community provides estate workers and their families.

I had the chance to catch up with one member of our roasting team that spent time with the Selva Negra farmers: our Director of Coffee Brad Kirby.

“We were able to spend several days at the Nicaragua Selva Negra coffee estate,” Brad said. “That gave us the chance to spend time picking cherries and seeing the cherries all the way through to the drying patio.”

“We were also invited to come be a part of payday on the farm,” Brad said. “It was interesting and eye opening to see hundreds of pickers, with their families, come and line up to be paid in cash.” The estate employees over 300 workers.

The trip was organized through Steve Franklin, co-owner of Beanealogy and JavaVino.

“We like taking people down to Nicaragua to the farm so they can see first-hand how we treat others,” said Steve. “It shows that what Mausi is doing is good and supports the way of life that most farmers wish they could have.”

Mausi is the matriarch and the visionary. She comes up with sustainable ideas of how to impact her community for good, both ecologically and socially. Her husband Eddy is an engineer who then puts systems in place to make her ideas have traction. Their daughter Heddy and son-in-law Steve began purchasing 5-10 percent of the coffee from the farm and now they purchase up to 70 percent.

Nicaragua Selva Negra Coffee

Nicaragua Selva Negra coffee is mostly the Arabica Bourbon varietal, mixed with some Caturra. The Bourbon varietal, named after the island of Bourbon where it was first cultivated, is fragile and doesn’t produce as many cherries as other varietals; but the coffee it does produce is sweet, lush and complex.

Catucupping-attributes_selva-negra-2rra is a mutation of Bourbon discovered in Brazil. It is distinguished by its bright acidity and low-to-medium body. With less sweetness than its parent, Bourbon, the addition of the Catarrh bean helps create a more balanced cup when brewed.

“Nicaragua Selva Negra coffee produces a cup that balances a mild tang with a toasty sweetness,” said Stockton Graham & Co.’s Director of Coffee Brad Kirby. “Its bright acidity gives way to a softly sweet yet brisk flavor.”

Brad points to the coffee’s medium body and smooth mouth feel, a combination that is familiar to the American palate. “Our Selva Negra is a very accessible coffee with flavors of bright summerfruit and sweet milk chocolate,” Brad said. “The sweet chocolate carries into a delicate finish.”

The History of Selva Negra  

Selva Negra is an estate that is located between the cities of Matagalpa and Jinotega in Nicaragua. It sits on the historical highlands, where German immigrants set up the first coffee farm back in the 19th century.

The Selva Negra farm is called La Hammonia. It was acquired by Eddy Kühl and Mausi Hayn in 1975. The estate also includes a coffee mill and an eco hotel, which caters to tourists who enjoy the clean waters and lush forests around El Arenal volcano.

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The eco lodge staff is mostly made out of people who live in the property also, wives and children of workers. Some of them have been there since the beginning in 1975; others have retired but have left their children in their old positions. They work as one big family.

Environmental projects are carried out each year always seeking for new, better and more efficient systems. Some of these projects include using earth tubs to decontaminate coffee wastewater, improved system for treating bathrooms and toilets’ sewage, reforestation, methane gas production and microorganism production to improve soil quality.

To order Nicaragua Selva Negra coffee, please call 800 835 5943 or email orders@stocktongraham.com