Honduras is the gem of Central America. With the right climatic conditions, and careful processing, the coffees can show great complexity and depth.
We are working with long time partners, Marysabel Caballero and her husband Moises Herrera. Together they have over 200 hectares of farm land and their own wet and dry mill.
Marysabel and Moises are a power couple of specialty coffee. Both come from families with a long history in coffee production. The family is well known as pioneers in Honduran Specialty Coffee.
They have had their fair share of struggles, in 2013 their farms suffered dearly from a leaf rust attack that nearly wiped out their entire production. It took several years to recover. However in 2016 that they turned a corner. After years of entering without success, in 2016 Marysabel won 1st place, putting Marcala and her coffees, on the map.Our relationship with this couple extends back over a decade since our founder Morten first began buying coffees. This long and successful business together has fostered a trust, leading to collaboration on different processing styles, including some very expressive yet clean naturals.
Honduras Coffee Profiles
Together with Marysabel and Moises we have crafted a series of blends that meet specific flavour profiles.
86+, from $6.83 USD/kg:
Momoto: Stone fruit, herbal, sweet with medium acidity
Tinamú: Sweet, milk chocolate, nutty, balanced, low acidity
Euphonia: Fruit, rich, milk florals, high acidity
86+, from $7.05 USD/kg
Colibri: Mature or overripe fruit, boozy, sweet, classic
Tucán: Bright fruitiness, tropical fruit, candy-like, good clarity
Capuchin: Process-driven fruit flavours, acetic-like acidity, ferment
The harvest in this part of Honduras runs from Dec/Jan to Apr/May depending on the climate in the given year. We see the first offer samples anywhere from February and usually through to May there are good volumes available.
The picking is all done by hand here, the different farms are spread across the area and the terrain does not allow for mechanical collection.
The cherry collected from all 17 farms is processed at the Xinacla mill. The mill is managed by Raul, Raul has been working with Moises for 20+ years. He has good control over the team at the mill.
Drying natural coffees is challenging in this region as it is high in humidity and the drying season is wet. Sunny days are interspersed with rain. They are sure to pick only well-ripened cherries when producing natural coffees as the sugar content of the cherry is important to produce good coffees.
Drying and hand-sorting
The facilities at the Xinacla mill are diverse, there are a number of options for drying coffee. There are a number of Guardiola’s, a large patio area for drying, and raised beds.
In order to dry the cherry well, they must first be in a thin layer to allow for the initial high level of moisture to be reduced. Afterwhich Moises increases the thickness of the layers of cherry.
The drying can take 20-40 days depending on the temperature.
Warehousing and dry milling
After drying the coffees are stored in the warehouse on sight at the Xinacla mill. Here they also have dry milling facilities with sorting and grading through the use of a colour sorter. Only once these coffees are purchased will the coffee physically be milled and bagged.
Once a selection is made and contracts are finalized Marysabel and Moises will process the coffee and send us pre-shipment samples for approval. Once these are approved the coffee is delivered to our export service provider in San Pedro Sula for container stuffing.