The first coffee from Honduras in years, not to mention our first ever Honduran filter release, had a considerable impact on us last year. Produced by Francisco Alvarado, who owns Finca El Durazno in the small community of Pozo Negro in Masaguara, located in Honduras’ Intibucá department, we were so happy with the coffee we decided to visit the country for the first time in February. Cupping through several tables of fresh offers with Rony at RAGA coffee, alongside our longstanding partners Nordic Approach, we were blown away by the quality and vibrancy of the cup profiles. A coffee that consistently stood out every time we tasted it was produced by Dely Suyapa Matute Ramirez, a close neighbour of Francisco Alvarado in Pozo Negro. The decision to go visit her farm, Finca Los Manzanas, the following day was made.
Dely and her family welcomed us warmly, offering coffee and snacks as we sat on the veranda overlooking their coffee trees and the newly built Secadores (polytunnels for drying coffee). With around two-thirds of this year’s harvest still to pick and process during our visit, the trees were full of the most beautiful, ripening cherries. The 8-year old farm is planted with Bourbon, Catuaí and Lempira and Dely has recently implemented a system to keep varieties separate for processing, allowing us to secure this lot comprised of entirely Bourbon.
A rare thing to hear from any coffee farmer, Dely and her husband Antonio have been delighted with the weather this year, giving them both the volume and quality desired. Antonio’s farm, Las Moras is right next door to Los Manzanas, and their son and daughter also have farms nearby, named El Durazno (the same name as Francisco Alvarado’s farm) and La Bonita. Coffee really is a family business; they all help each other come harvest time, and with six children in total, the whole family is working in coffee.
Once harvested, Dely checks the Brix level of her coffee cherries, measuring the sugar content, which is a marker for ripeness. Dely can then adjust her timings to ensure an optimal fermentation occurs depending on how ripe the batch of coffee is. We saw a range from 24 to 40 hours of dry fermentation on the data sheets Dely showed us, used to log the processing information from each batch of coffee. Timing the fermentation is crucial, but they are hoping to invest in a thermometer and pH reader that would allow them to measure the process in more detail, along with more parameters than time alone.
Dely is a warm and hospitable lady, passionate about producing high-quality coffee, and was proud to show us certificates from placing in the Honduras Cup of Excellence competition in past years. We’re thrilled to share this Bourbon selection from Finca Los Manzanas and hope you enjoy it’s vibrant and juicy characteristics.
Pozo Negro, Masaguara, Intibucá, Honduras
Vibrant and complex, look for notes of black cherry, hibiscus and apple. Fresh strawberry and chocolate mousse flavours deliver a long-lasting finish.