July 03, 2015

Hunting Great Coffee - Honduras Part 2

Hunting Great Coffee - Honduras Part 2

Part 2 of 2.

There are many steps involved after coffee is harvested and before it can be roasted – we’ve outlined a few of them here, here, and here.

What this means at the farm level is that since it requires a lot of time and expensive equipment to process coffee, farmers will pool their crops together into an aggregate (in our case in Honduras, the COMSA cooperative handles this). Farmers sell their crop to a coop, the coop owns the equipment to process that coffee.

Large equipment such as this dryer is used to get coffee to a precise moisture content.

While the COMSA coop as a whole makes truly wonderful coffee, the subtle flavors from a single farm will be lost in the mix, and truly stand out crops will be diminished some in the averaging of many farms blended together.

A Micro-Lot program was started in COMSA to help amazing crops gain recognition.  Our trip here was to taste samples from some of those stand out crops, negotiate pricing, and have our single farm purchase meticulously processed separately from the pack.

Over the course of  5 days we cupped over 100 lots of coffee.  Between 5 and 10 cups of coffee from 100+ lots means we tried…a lot…of coffee.

Don’t judge the oven mitt.

Farmers gathered around as we tried cup after cup. We sat and talked about taste, discussed flavor profiles and listened as they told us how they may have explored new variations of processing to get different tastes. So many of them were really, really good. Out of about 115 samples we fell in love with a few farms… and ultimately we decided on just one that we wanted to represent strongly.

It is a single farm owned by Amilcar Claros. Amilcar clearly put a lot of work into his fields and we wanted to put a lot of work into representing him. Amilcar’s finca (farm) is named “Los Zorzales” – The Thrushes.

After a long 3 month wait for it to arrive in the States…we are extremely excited to bring this coffee to you. Brilliantly smooth, bordering on tart fruit and jammy flavors.  A nice full body richness that mellows out.  Our hats off to Amilcar for the amazing 2015 crop.