Coffee review: Whole Foods (Allegro) Finca El Jaguar

by on March 17, 2007

Plainspoken Coffee. A Coffee Review for Ordinary People by OrdinaryPeople, #19.

Finca El Jaguar is a family-run farm in Nicaragua’s Jinotega province, 188 km north of the capital Managua. The farm is also a registered private reserve under the Alianza Para Las Areas Silvestres (ALAS), a bird conservation organization. It includes 70 acres of protected cloud forest, 60 acres of managed forest, and over a dozen coffee plots totaling 34 acres.  Another 35 acres is grassland.  The coffee is certified organic.

El Jaguar offers eco-lodging, with birders and researchers welcome. The farm is one of seven sites in Nicaragua with a wintering bird banding program, part of the important MoSI project (Monitoreo de Sobrevivencia Invernal – Monitoring Overwintering Survival).  This project is an essential tool that enables researchers to gain insight into what bird species winter in an area, the habitats they use, and their overwinter survival. Another Nicaraguan organic shade coffee farm and ecolodge is working on establishing a MoSI station, Finca Esperanza Verde. Their coffee is sold in the U.S. as Counter Culture Matagalpa Cafe San Ramon.

We have already posted on the importance of Nicaragua to birds, Nicaraguan coffee in general here.

Thus, it is a pleasure to review a coffee from a farm that represents what we focus on here at Coffee & Conservation — Allegro Coffee Roaster’s Finca El Jaguar, available at Whole Foods Markets. Finca El Jaguar was a recipient of Allegro’s High Five for Farmers program in 2003, which donated $4,000 to make improvements to the local school.

Allegro’s Finca El Jaguar is a light roast (full city), with a great, fresh, slightly nutty aroma. It was very smooth, and while not endowed with many distinctive flavors, it had a nice body and enough richness for one reviewer to comment that it would make a great afternoon cup. This is not a coffee that will knock your socks off — it has a classic coffee profile variously described by our reviewers as “simple,” “benign,” and “soothing.”  The Risky Kingbird noted, “It’s not too complicated — and I appreciate that.”  We gave it 3 motmots.

This coffee also garnered 90 points at Coffee Review.

I will add that the MoSI stations across Latin America and the West Indies operate on a shoestring, with local researchers enduring hardships and primitive conditions to do this important work.  You can sponsor a station for a winter season for only $300.  For more information sponsoring a MoSI station, visit the Institute of Bird Populations web site.

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Revised on March 23, 2014

Posted in Coffee reviews,Latin America

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