We had tickets to fly down to Santa Barbara mill in Honduras this past April, as we have for the last several years. We go down to cup through the harvest, strengthen our relationship with San Vicente Mill owner/operator Benjamin Paz, and reconnect with the farmers whose crops we purchase year after year. Then the pandemic happened, which not only affected our travel plans, but also showed widespread impact on all the coffee farmers, mill owners and trade routes. So instead of visiting farms, San Vicente sent us all the samples to taste and we did our purchasing the old fashioned way.
In some of our sourcing trips, such as Kenya and Colombia, we do all cupping blind and pick only the best lots, no matter the farm and whether we've worked with them before or not. In Honduras, we have been seeking to develop relationships with farmers, and commit to purchasing their crops year after year. This security for the farmer, and their knowing our expectations has so far been very productive, and has secured us some of the best coffee lots coming out of Honduras each year.
This year we were also sent bio questionnaire forms from the farmers, which we thought we would share directly with you:
This is from Proyecto Cabanas, a municipality blend that we use in our Balanced blend during the winter season. In the coming weeks we will post more farmer bios as we release their coffees
Name of Project Proyecto Cabañas
-How many coffee farmers are part
of the project? 20 coffee farmers approximately
-How big are the farmers? What is
the average size of the farms in
Most are little farmers; the size of farms is on average 2.5 hectares
-What other products are cultivated
in this zone?
Corn, beans, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, corn being the most
What makes the zone special? Mainly the altitude (1650 masl average) and the temperate climate most of the year.
What is the story of their start with
Some residents of the Cabañas community began to experiment with
coffee cultivation around the year 2000 when they saw the success in
other communities, they started planting the varieties Pacas and
In 2011 there was an unexpected Roya infection, very strong, that
damaged the plants until they were almost dead; Then, the producers,
with the help of the coffee institute, opted to renew the farms with
varieties such as Lempira and the Typica and Pacas varieties were
abandoned; since then the Lempira variety has predominated.
In 2012, the Proyecto Cabañas began with just 3 producers, a pulping
machine and 3 raised beds were installed on a rented plot of land;
After these years and with the success of the project, it has grown little
by little, and now they have better wet-mill and drying station with
raised beds; Now they work with a group of around 20 producers,
most of them are small producers who work their farms with their
What makes the coffee of this
zone special? The consistency in the profile of the coffee.
Departments: La Paz
Village: Los Planes
Varieties present on the farm
Ihcafe 90, 10%
Average altitude (masl) 1650 masl
Harvest period: December to april
How is the process in the wet
The coffee is received in cherry by the coffee producers, then, it is
pulped and goes directly to a mechanical demucilaginator washer to
wash and remove the mucilage. There is no fermentation process.
Type of drying (methods and
After washing the parchment, it is dried in African beds with a capacity
for 1100 pounds of dry parchment coffee each, stirred every half hour
and dried for 15 days, during the dryer the parchment is sorted by
hand to remove defective beans.