Alicia Reyes-Niederheitmann (pictured above) hails from Nicaragua and she is heading up a Central American injection of beans into South Africa, with NICA Brands, promising personal relationships with the farmers and some of the best beans from 5 of the coffee producing Central American countries, namely Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
NICA Brands: the logo shows five volcanos located in the five countries they represent.
Colombo Coffee & Tea
were our hosts for the morning. Kyle
and Maxine (Cup Tasting Champion 2013)
set up the session for us. We cupped seven coffees in total, which resulted in a lot of slurping. With tales spun in a Spanish accent of coffees grown on tiny islands in the middle of lakes in Nicaragua (Omtepe) and co-ops that have been working at improving the quality of the coffee since 1998, we all had our spoons at the ready. There is a strong focus on the coffees being officially certified whether it be Organic, Rainforest Alliance
or Fair Trade, where all the coffees are traceable to the specific farmers who work with them and those farmers see the benefit for this care and attention to detail.
Alicia and Kyle discussing the beans on offer. And exploring the possibility of a tour...
The tasting table. We began with dry fragrance, smelling the freshly ground beans; wet aroma, breaking the seal of the brewed coffee; then we tasted the spoils.
If you want to learn first-hand how the art of cupping is done, the Cup Tasting Championship is happening on Thursday at The Good Food and Wine Show and you could win tickets to come watch, enter here now!