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.
Our first port of call was RAGA coffee lab to taste our way through thirty-four fresh samples with Joanne from Nordic Approach. It is almost too easy to get very excited by big flavours and expressive cup profiles when encountering new coffees at origin. We often have to restrain ourselves from pursuing some lots we love, as past experience tells us when coffee tastes open and bright only a few weeks after having finished drying, it is likely to lose some or all of those exciting characteristics that made us take notice by the time it arrives in the UK. Instead, we look for coffees with plenty of sweetness, a clean profile and good structure, but are also somewhat closed. These sorts of coffees burst with potential as when they rest a little longer, say the length of a boat journey, they become fully expressive and even more delicious.
One lot that offered this in spades was a coffee from Andrés Reyes Hernandez, grown at 1,785m and comprised entirely of Catuaí. Looking back at initial cupping notes we wrote such descriptors as “balanced”, “covered”, “taut” and “elegant”, indicating a great structure and the potential to blossom over the next few months. We pursued this lot from Andrés, along with coffees from two of his neighbours, Dely Suyapa Matute Ramirez and Francisco Alvarado, whose farms are all located in Pozo Negra, Masaguara.
Most of the community similarly process their cherries, traditionally depulping and fermenting in a tank for 24 hours or so, before washing and then drying in ‘secadores’, which are ventilated polytunnels filled with raised beds. Andrés does indeed do this at his farm, Finca Reyes, and we hope you enjoy his coffee, which has now opened up tasting vibrant, expressive and delicious.
Pozo Negro, Masaguara, Intibucá, Honduras
A deeply sweet, syrupy & balanced cup. We’re tasting spiced pear & gingerbread alongside wild honey & fig.