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Review: CAN AgroEco Nicaragua Coffee Beans

I was recently sent a sample of Nicaraguan light roast coffee beans from Community Agroecology Network (CAN) at U.C. Santa Cruz.

The beans came in a full 1lb (16oz) vacuum-sealed package, roasted by Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting.

The beans ranged in size from small to quite large. Despite being described as "light roast, the color was at the darker-end of mid-brown. The color of the beans was exceptionally even, with very slight hints of oil on a few of the beans. I would classify the roast as "full-city". The eveness of coloring throughout indicated excellent roasting.

On opening the bag, the aroma of the beans was pleasantly woody with a hint of smokiness.

I ground 12g of the beans in my home using a mid-grind with a Breville smart grinder.  I boiled water, allowing it to cool for 30 seconds before pouring it over the coffee grinds, and then left the coffee to steep for 4 minutes. For comparative purposes, I "cupped" (comparatively tasted) against some Guatemalan beans.

After waiting for 4 minutes, I "cracked" the surface of the liquid and inhaled the aroma which was noticably sweet.

I then tasted the coffee. I found the coffee to have balanced acidity. The weight of the coffee in the mouth was average, without any cloying. Flavor was mildly bitter. Aftertaste was lingering mild bitterness.

I then ground 4 tablespoons of the beans using a fine espresso grind. I extracted a double espresso shot into a 4 oz glass espresso demitasse cup using a Breville BES900XL Semi Automatic Espresso Machine. Crema production was excellent, measuring at 7mm depth after 15 seconds of settling. The crema held its own well beyond several minutes.

I then ground an additional 4 tablespoons of the beans using fine espresso grind and extracted a double shot of espresso into a 10oz cup. I added foamed milk to make a flat-white. The crema floated well on the top of the milk and the flavor of the coffee held its own against the sweetness of the milk. Overall, a very satisfying and balanced coffee drink.

I would recommend these beans to all readers as well-roasted, flavorful beans, that will make for satisfying espresso and espresso-based drinks. Not to mention that you can drink your coffee with a clear conscience by supporting the good work of CAN in its program of environmental, social, and economic advancement for the growers of the San Ramon cooperative in Nicaragua.

Readers can purchase the beans at:
The beans retail for $14.95/lb (includeing shipping), and $14.50/lb for a 3- or 6-month subscription. A monthly subscription reduces the cost futher to $13.95/lb. 

Use coupon code: "San Ramon" for all orders of 2 lbs. or more.

(Note: I am not affiliated with CAN nor Santa Cruz Coffee Roasters and will not receive any affiliate compensation from either organization. - John)

About Community Agroecology Network
You can read more about CAN and it's "beyond fair trade coffee" practices at my post CAN Community Agroecology Network

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