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

Nicaragua Selva Negra. Truly. Sustainable.

Nicaragua Selva Negra Coffee From Stockton GrahamWhen you step off the bus onto the Nicaragua Selva Negra coffee estate, you’ve reached an amazing place.

Lush rainforest landscapes are vibrant with mums, gladioli, lilies, baby breath, daisies and roses. Cows, goats, turkey, quail and chicken roam through grassy pastures. These are the creatures that Selva Negra’s 300+ year-round workers tend, cultivating them for meat, milk, cream and eggs for the estate’s restaurant and in the workers’ kitchens. Farm-generated methane and hydro-electric power from ponds fuel lights, stoves and classrooms.

“Our goal is to be self-sufficient in everything,” Eddy Kühl, who owns and oversees the estate along with his wife Mausi, told me. “We produce green coffee for export, roasted coffee, milk, cheese, hams, vegetables, poultry and eggs. We produce methane gas for cooking and have solar heaters. Our bottleneck was the expensive, national energy power, but recently we finished building our own hydroelectric power turbine, and we are looking forward to a wind-powered energy system.”

Selva Negra Coffee Community Foundation Stockton GrahamA leader in sustainable farming since 1975, the Selva Negra Estate is recognized for producing exceptional Rainforest Alliance coffee and for its work to spread sustainable farming practices around the world through its not-for-profit Selva Negra Community Foundation. The foundation, headed by Mausi Kühl, has been working with farmers in Nicaragua to reclaim land laid to waste by toxic pesticides, deforestation and unsustainable farming practices. To date, the Selva Negra Community Foundation has made a significant impact by providing free education, resources and on-site training. Visit selvanegracommunity.org to learn more.

Stockton Graham & Co. began working with the Selva Negra community several years ago. In 2013, our roasting team spent some time on the estate, where they explored organic farming, the estate’s milling process and the vast social, medical, educational, professional and cultural services Selva Negra provides estate workers and their families. During that visit, we provided estate management with insight on the US coffee market and consumer preferences, as well as donated computers, school books and more.

As we set our sights on Earth Day 2016, which is on Friday April 22, we’re appreciating truly sustainable coffees like our Nicaragua Selva Negra. “This is truly the most sustainable coffee farm I have ever visited,” said Brandon Riggs, roastmaster for Stockton Graham Coffees and Dilworth Coffee. “The Kühl’s commitment to the land, their coffee, and their people is inspiring and serves as an excellent example of what coffee culture can be – both at origin and for the end consumer.”

Sustainability in Coffee Stockton Graham Nicaragua Selva Negra is Sustainable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Truly sustainable coffee

Rainforest Alliance CoffeeIt is grown using time-tested pesticide-free native Nicaraguan growing methods and boasts a Rainforest Alliance certification. Because the coffee is shade grown in the Matagalpa highlands, it is also bird friendly although it does not carry the official certification. However, it has been recognized by the Specialty Coffee Association for its sustainability practices, has received a Q Auction rating and the Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality Award.

Nicaragua Selva Negra Stockton Graham Coffee RoastersStockton Graham & Co. directly imports the coffee through Atlanta-based JavaVino. This small, independent business is run by Eddy and Mausi’s daughter, Heddy, her husband Steve and two sons. As the name suggests, JavaVino specializes in coffee and wine; but it also runs a café that serves breakfast, sandwiches and desserts, as well as event space for meetings, weddings and parties.

The care that everyone puts into growing, processing and importing Nicaragua Selva Negra Estate Coffee shines in the taste. Right from the start, brewed coffee emits the mouth-watering aroma of honey and caramel. Drinking the coffee is just as pleasurable. The cup’s creamy body is the perfect foundation for its milk chocolate flavors. As the coffee cools in the cup, you’ll begin to taste the depth of flavors from toasted caramel to sweet berry undertones.

Cupping Attributes: Nicaragua Selva Negra

Aroma: Honey, caramel
Body: Medium, creamy
Flavor: Sweet, chocolate, toasty
Acidity: Mildly bright, balanced
Aftertaste: Pleasant, sweet, smooth

Grounds for Health Blend Stockton Graham & CoThis fine example of Nicaraguan coffee is also featured in our Grounds for Health Blend, which raises money for vital healthcare for women who work on coffee farms in Nicaragua, Peru and Ethiopia. Created in partnership with Grounds For Health, money raised from sale of the blend will provide cervical cancer screening and treatment to 15,000 women worldwide.

Download the one-pager on Nicaragua Selva Negra.

To order Nicaragua Selva Negra or Grounds for Health Blend, please call 800 835 5943.