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Nicaragua - La Unión - COE #2

September 23, 2007

This coffee was roasted in a PID'd Sirocco "fluid bed" hot air roaster and was cupped blind against other winning lots from the Cup of Excellence competition in Nicaragua. After cupping, it was tasted as a brewed coffee and espresso extraction. For more information on my sample roaster and method, see our reference page.

It is quite interesting to cup with folks from other countries. As mentioned is my review of the Guatemala COE #2, there always seems to be a difference in cup-profile preferences, depending on the origin of the cupper. For example, coffees from Ethiopia that are not considered to be of export quality for the U.S., are held in high regard in certain countries in the Middle East.

This beautiful Nicaraguan coffee is another example of one that I preferred more than that selected by the jury as #1. In fact, except in a very few cases, I have never liked the #1 COE coffees better than the other competition entries. For me, this one was the best of all 34 Nic COE winning coffees (yes, I cupped them all). The jury gave the #1 winner, a 94.84 and this one, #2, a 91.58 - not too shabby. Amazingly the #1 coffee fetched $47.06/lb at the auction and this one, #2, fetched $8.15/lb!

This coffee is superbly complex with one flavor after the other appearing as the coffee cools. There is some citrus but most of the fruit is in the middle and low range with stone fruit (cherries, peaches and plums) coming in waves, enhanced by snappy acidity. On the low end we find chocolate pudding, and a smokey nuance. This is a honeyed-sweet coffee with a rich mouthfeel and a long finish.

A medium-light (city+) roast brings all this out. If the coffee is roasted into 2nd crack, it loses its fruity complexity and tastes burnt. So - don't do it! It's just OK as a cappa and too acidic for a straight shot so enjoy this coffee, brewed or use it as the high end embellishment in a blend.

Dry Fragrance: 4.7
Wet Aroma: 4.6
Flavor: 9.5
Finish: 7.8
Acidity: 7.8
Body: 7.6
TOTAL (subtotal + 50): 92.0

  • Lighter Roasts: Roast it this way and brew it to enjoy the fruit and aromatic qualities.
  • Darker Roasts: Not recommended.
  • As Espresso: Not recommended.


UPDATED: September 25, 2007