CULTURE IN EVERY CUP:	Finca Bethania, Nueva Segovia – Nicaragua (microlot coffee)

CULTURE IN EVERY CUP: Finca Bethania, Nueva Segovia – Nicaragua (microlot coffee)

CULTURE IN EVERY CUP: Finca Bethania, Nueva Segovia – Nicaragua (microlot coffee)

Nicaragua, as is the case with many Central American coffee producing countries, had coffee planted back in the 1800s. However, it wasn’t until the 19th Century that Nicaragua found its rightful place in the coffee export market. This was mainly due to high demand from North America and the significantly reduced supply from the Pacific.

So, this period saw the emergence and establishment of the first  large coffee plantations starting in the Managua District and gradually moving into the Jinotepe, Matagalpa, Jinotega, and Nueva Segovia areas.

Cafetos De Segovia, Nicraguan coffee farm, coffee beans drying, green trees in the background
Cafeto De Segovia, NIcaragua (Photo credit: Cafe Imports)


The 1980s saw the emergence of specialty coffee in Nicaragua’s neighbouring coffee producers like Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Guatemala. However, Nicaragua fell behind due to political and inevitably economical unrest during the long period of the Nicaraguan Revolution between 1974 and 1990. Particularly between 1980 and 1990 many of the coffee farms were abandoned and the mills were targeted by rebel Contras as part of their campaign.  An embargo was also declared on Nicaraguan imports by the United States in 1985 and this was yet another blow to the industry.

Unfortunately, these were not the only hindrances. Hurricane Mitch in 1998 also contributed to the country staying out of the speciality coffee spotlight. The hurricane wrecked the country and destroyed pretty much all of the country’s infrastructure displacing a huge number of people including farmers and workers. 

To top it all off, following hurricane Mitch, the 1999-2003 world coffee crisis hit which obviously devastated every coffee producing country.

 Cafetos De Segovia, NIcaragua coffee farm, coffee sack and drying coffee beds
Cafetos De Segovia, Nicaragua (Photo credit: Cafe Imports)


The Nueva Segovia Department is home to many smallholder coffee farms. It occupies part of northern Nicaragua and produces some of the best coffee in the Central Americas. The Nueva Segovia region is well suited for coffee production as, compared to the other coffee producing areas of Nicaragua, because of its micro climate and altitudes of 1500 masl and above. This means the weather patterns and heat that the lower altitude areas have, don’t pose an issue here.

The Dipilto (where our coffee comes from) and Macuelizo regions in Nueva Segovia, are among the highest in altitude in the country and border with Honduras. Their excellent climate conditions, as mentioned briefly above, play a huge part in growing good quality coffee.

 Cafetos De Segovia, Nicaragua, coffee farm, men emptying red coffee cherries into the water mill
Cafetos De Segovia, Nicaragua (Photo Credit: Cafe Imports)

THE MICROMILL, THE FARM and THE STORY behind the coffee

Our tasty coffee comes from the Cafetos De Segovia micromill and includes the two speciality coffee plantations of ‘Finca Bethania’(where our coffee comes from) and ‘Finca Las Hortencias’ in the Dipilto region, mentioned above, as well as the Mosonte region.

The mill and plantations are a labour of love of the Albir family, and the story goes as far back as three generations within the family. Specifically, it’s the consequence of the hard work of sisters Martha and Ana Albir who inherited their passion for coffee from their father and grandfather.

Their father bought the farm in 1991, however following the political turmoil mentioned above, the family were forced to leave the country and cease operations on the farm.

Cafetos De Segovia coffee farm, Nicaragua, men drying coffee beans
Cafetos De Segovia, Nicaragua (Photo Credit: Cafe Imports)

It was quite a few years later, in 2007, when the sisters were able to take over the farm again. In 2013 they were able to invest in a mill and this when Cafetos De Segovia was formed. The mill was important to the business and was a response to the increasing high demand for speciality coffee which in turn demanded transparency and social responsibility from all coffee growers, including Nicaraguan growers. Exports began in 2016, not only for their own farm but also for neighbouring farms owned by friends and family.


Like any business, ambitions and goals are what drive it and Cafetos De Segovia’s most ambitious goal, is being able to provide the right support for their growers. They assist the farmers by helping them manage the ongoing and challenging environmental conditions that are in pretty much constant change these days. They help the understand and meet the requirements of the word coffee markets without compromising their traditional farming ways.

The mills connection with importers and roasters (like us) who equally care about sustainable farming businesses – and I mean sustainable as businesses and sustainability as regards to the environment and farming processes. This has helped the mill introduce new processing techniques to enable improvement in the quality of the coffee and by consequence its flavours. This is all done with respect for the growers and respect for the environment.

Cafetos de Segovia coffee micromill, Nicaragua, red coffee cherries in container
Cafetos De Segovia, Nicaragua (Photo Credit: Cafe Imports)


This is a microlot coffee and microlot coffees are less common in Nicaragua despite the presence of good quality varieties such as Bourbon and Caturra. Ana and Martha and their associates are interested in producing specialty coffee. This is where the microlot comes into play. As discussed previously on another blog post, all about microlots, there are many reasons why a coffee would be considered one. Here, it’s because the micromill is going the extra mile to separate lots based on variety. It has also taken one step further and has began to experiment with other processes other than washed, such as honey and naturals. It must be noted that these two processes are unusual for Nicaraguan coffees and hence the potential here to produce something different, interesting and unusual is very likely.

coffee cherries in basket, hand holding basket, close up
Cafetos De Segovia, Nicaragua (Photo Credit: Cafe Imports)

So, without further ado, thank you Martha and Ana for this amazing and tasty coffee.

Varietal: Catuai
Process: Washed
Altitude: 1300 – 1500 masl
Tasting Notes: Balanced and mellow with lemon and toffee flavours

Grab your tasty bag here and support these two amazing  women and their growers so they can continue to grow and supply amazing coffee and can experiment and move forward with new innovative coffees!