How a Trip to Nicaragua Changed My Whole Outlook on Coffee

How a Trip to Nicaragua Changed My Whole Outlook on Coffee

In 2014, I went on a life-changing journey to Nicaragua with my Dad. Not that I had any idea at the time, but this trip would later impact my perspective on coffee and shape the way I'd eventually start my own coffee roasting business, JCR.

Our destination was Jinotega, a region in Nicaragua known for being the epicenter of coffee in the country. I was fortunate enough to have the privilege of staying with a family of coffee farmers for a few days and despite the language barrier, their warmth and hospitality they extended to both me and my Dad left a lasting impression on my heart.

During every morning of our stay, I would wake up to the rhythmic sounds of tortillas being made. The women of the family would skillfully shape and make hundreds of tortillas to feed the pickers, farmers, and workers on the farm. I even had the chance to try my hand at making them, but in the time it took me to shape one, the experts had already made at least ten (or more).

Every day I spent there, I gained invaluable insights into the daily lives of coffee farmers, the challenges they face due to the remoteness of their farms, the inherent hardships of agricultural work and, above all, the unwavering love and dedication they have for their farms.

Truly the thing that stuck with me most was the love and dedication they poured into their farms. It provided me with a deeper understanding of the origins of coffee and the stories of the people behind it.

In the coffee industry, the narratives of the producers and farmers can sometimes get lost amidst the various stages of the supply chain. It has become clear to me that the work I do as a roaster is just a small part of the larger picture, and it's crucial to recognize and appreciate the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in bringing coffee to our cups.

When I founded JCR in 2020, one of my top priorities was to ensure that the coffee I sourced was not only of high quality but also ethically and sustainably produced. I want to bring the stories of the producers to the forefront and help consumers understand the impact of their purchases.
But it is not just about storytelling; it’s about sustainability—ensuring that every step of the coffee journey, from farm to cup, upholds the principles of environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic equity. I have learned that sustainability isn't just about protecting the planet; it's about empowering communities and ensuring a future where coffee can thrive.

 For me, sustainability means paying well above fair trade prices, forging direct relationships with producers, and providing technical support to help farmers maximize their yields. It meant recognizing that coffee's true value lay not just in its flavor but also in the livelihoods it sustained.

That trip to Nicaragua ended up being the inspiration for how I eventually started and continue to operate Jocelyn Coffee Roasting. The firsthand experience and context I gained from my time with the coffee farming family have been invaluable in shaping my approach to coffee roasting and sustainability.

Looking back, I realize how fortunate I was to have had that experience in Nicaragua before I entered the world of coffee roasting. It laid the foundation for everything JCR stands for—a commitment to quality, transparency, and respect for the journey from bean to cup.
Coffee isn't just a beverage. It’s a story of people, passion, and dedication. As I continue to grow in the coffee industry, the love and warmth I felt from that community in Nicaragua are constantly in the forefront of my mind as I strive to honor their hard work and commitment through my own business practices.

In addition to all of this, it was truly special to have this experience along side my dad and I will forever be grateful and cherish these memories. 

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