Located in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, the Selva Negra Estate is a coffee bean farm known for their rich history as well as rich flavors.
Many local Nicaraguans work at this farm daily, with the original farm founded by the Kuhl family in 1883. Now in its sixth generation, Selva Negra distributes coffee all throughout the U.S. This estate is committed to maintaining environmentally-friendly practices and efforts to increase sustainability, with coffee-by-products used in composting and water usage down 40%. Most of all, Selva Negra is known for their high standards and high quality coffee.
While visiting Selva Negra with OutReach360 on a day where we were not teaching English to students, I learned all about the process of creating a cup of coffee from scratch. Workers are not allowed to even wear perfume because it could affect the taste of the beans! I remember seeing farmers in the giant greenhouse (which was over 100 degrees inside), and they had to shift the beans around with rakes similar to a toasting oven for the beans not to burn. We got to tour where all the animals are kept for composting methods, as we visited the pigs, cows, and chickens. Everyone working there was so welcoming, and they told jokes along the tour to keep us engaged in the complicated coffee process.
Every coffee company should be following Selva Negra’s impressive sustainability practices. Their goal? To send zero waste to landfills. Working with Compost Now since 2018, Selva Negra’s Joe Van Gogh coffee brand has brought composting to all roasting facilities and cafés around the world. In the last year, their composting has equated to 549,620 less miles of car exhaust pollution; 96,752 lbs of food waste was diverted from landfills. With innovative and high-energy standards, the roasting facility has solar panels installed with also a fair amount of profit returned to communities where beans were grown. Underlining worker empowerment, fair wages, and gender equity farm partners, Nicaragua’s Selva Negra is not only Rain Forest Alliance Certified but also looking to improve their standards every day.
Even if you can’t visit during quarantine, head on over to Selva Negra’s homepage and support local coffee bean growers if you can!
Top Selva Negra coffee beans:
- Burundi Ngogomo notes: Meyer lemon, currant, bergamot
- Nicaragua Selva Negra notes: Citrus, apple, caramel
- French Roast notes: Smoky Depth, Crème Brûlée
Selva Negra’s “Coffee for Care Duo Set” supports healthcare workers on the frontlines with COVID-19 efforts. For each 12oz bag purchased, one 12oz bag will be donated to different healthcare clinics such as Duke Health or UNC Health. This coffee set is roasted extra dark with dark chocolate notes. Fuel for the Frontlines is another initiative, aiming to bring coffee and baked good donations to more healthcare workers, grocery staffers, and first responders.
Amanda spent one week in Nicaragua.