Origin trip to Honduras
A blog post written especially for you by Rob on February 13, 2012
Maybe the best part about being involved in the specialty coffee industry is working together with other passionate people and uncovering something new at seemingly every turn. Simply put, coffee has a way of teaching you things. Moreover specialty grade coffee, being particularly difficult to produce, demands constant attention and care from everyone along the chain of production. These truths became very relevant to me on my first trip to origin, visiting both Marcala and Santa Barbara in Honduras and crystallizing what I have come to love about coffee.
We have been sourcing quality high grown coffees from these areas for about as long as we’ve been roasting but the entire team has been eager to build a true “relationship” coffee line that we can be proud of. I flew into Tegucigalpa with hopes that I could get to meet some of the producers and learn more about the ways that they ensure cup quality year over year. If all went to plan, I was hoping to cup some of the best coffees Honduras had to offer and maybe begin a long-term relationship with a farmer that would grow over time.
Suffice it to say that the trip exceeded my wildest expectations. Anyone who has been to Central America can tell you how beautiful the landscape is (though I would argue that it doesn’t get much more breathtaking than the view from the coffee farms in Santa Barbara, over a mile high and framed by a picturesque lake.) But what really made the trip worthwhile was how welcoming the producers were and how willing to answer questions about their craft. Even better, they really seem to grasp the importance of their role in cup quality. Their commitment to improving every year is evident, from the pickers to the sorters to the workers at the wet and dry mills all the way to the exporter.
So much effort is put into each precious burlap sack that we can’t help but show the coffee the same respect that the producers have. I am very excited to say that in a matter of weeks we will be roasting a very special Micro Lot from Gerrado Penalba’s “Finca Las Flores”, our first true relationship coffee. We can’t wait to hear your reviews and even better, to be able to tell him how much you enjoyed his hard work when we see him again.