Nicaragua: Coffee Origin Tours

Specialty Coffee, Seed to Cup

This is the seed end of seed-to-cup.

Here’s the seed end of the seed-to-cup story.

This trip starts with ACEN, the Specialty Coffee Association of Nicaragua, for an orientation to the country’s specialty coffee industry. We’ll spend two days in the mountains of Matagalpa at the farms and dry mill of leading specialty coffee producer Fincas Mierisch. We’ll also explore León and Granada, famed for their colonial history and architecture; relax at the Pacific Ocean and Lake Nicaragua; and enjoy a farm-to-table experience at one family’s farm and nearby restaurant.

This tour is presented in conjunction with our friends at Joe, New York’s specialty coffee rock stars. With their help, we’re visiting a leading producer that doesn’t normally host visiting groups like ours. Fincas Mierisch made waves in the world of specialty coffee this year as the first producer to be featured in the new online auction program of the Alliance for Coffee Excellence. Pretty exciting!

Last but not least: Fincas Mierisch will use proceeds from these trips to further develop their community programs. These programs – such as health clinics, nutritional programs, children’s education and daycare – improve quality of life for workers and their families. So the communities we visit will be better off for our trip. What’s not to love about that?

For more on Nicaragua, check out the About Nicaragua page, photo gallery, and my blog posts about Nicaragua. Or check out what some Joeys had to say about their trip last year!


A cupper grinds coffee beans

Professional cupper José grinds beans for us to taste at the Fincas Mierisch dry mill. Every lot of harvested beans is cupped – up to 70 cuppings per day in the heart of harvest season.

Departures:

Prices are listed in U.S. dollars and do not include airfare. Two people traveling double will share a hotel room and a local, prepaid cell phone. For a private tour, contact me to discuss scheduling and pricing.

February 1-9, 2014
Registration limited – call for more information

March 15-23, 2014
Registration open!
Pricing: $2530 single/$2280 double
(prices guaranteed until November 30, 2013)

Nicaragua in February and March:
These trips fall in Nicaragua’s dry season. Expect temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s in the lowlands (Managua, León, and Granada), and in the 60’s in the highlands (coffee country), with little or no rain. This is coffee harvest season, when farms are at their busiest.


This tour includes:

A coffee cupper explains his work

And here’s the cup end of the seed-to-cup story. As the coffee brews, my colleague Dave gets expert instruction on the cupping process.

  • airport pickup and dropoff at Managua’s Sandino International Airport
  • one night in Managua, including a dinner with representatives of ACEN
  • two nights in León, with a day exploring the city and a day visiting nearby communities – and the nearby beach
  • three nights in Matagalpa, featuring several Fincas Mierisch farms and a cupping at their dry mill
  • two nights in Granada, with visits to nearby artisan communities and Lake Nicaragua
  • all breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 5 dinners

Notes:

  • The tour description and draft itinerary may change based on availability, weather, and seasonal holidays or events.
  • We’ll drive some bumpy dirt roads. If that sounds like fun, great! If you have a bad back or suffer motion sickness, you might prefer a different trip.
  • This is an active tour in a tropical, developing country. You can count on AC in closed vehicles, and we’ll stay in comfortable hotels with hot water, AC, wi-fi, and so on.
  • Carnivores will be in luck. Vegetarians will have decent options, depending on how strict you are. Vegans will have few options, depending on how strict you are. Gluten-free travelers will have lots of options. To learn more, get in touch.
A bag of coffee with the Joe logo

At the dry mill, Fincas Mierisch keeps old bags around to remind them of all their favorite coffee retailers… and of course I was delighted to see it.