De Mello Palheta
Dry Rum, Coconut Caramel, Star Fruit
Pacas, Catuai, Parainema, Lempira
1580 – 1820 masl
Los Planes, Cabanas, Santa Barbara
FROM THE ROASTER
We came across this blend of several producers while looking for micro-lots from the Santa Barbara region, Honduras. We got excited by the quality and the accessibility of this series offered by our partners, Beneficio San Vicente and Collaborative Coffee Source. Fidel Paz is a second-generation coffee producer from Peña Blanca who gave up coffee production due to the abysmally low prices during the 1989 coffee crisis following the failed negotiations of the International Coffee Agreement. In the early 1980s, Don Fidel started his milling and exporting company known as Beneficio San Vincente, progressively changing the game in Santa Barbara and putting Honduras on the map for all specialty coffee buyers. For over 20 years, Don Fidel, his sons Fidel, Benjamin, and Arturo, working alongside the Moreno family, really made a name for themselves and worked tirelessly for the Santa Barbara coffee-growing community to increase yield, and quality and thus income.
Beneficio San Vicente is a truel resource for Santa Barbara. Also, he is a small-scale producer in terms of expertise, marketing and making connections with the specialty market. The Paz family is a real connection force with international buyers such as importers and roasters. The farmers on the Santa Barbara hillside are neighbours and help each other refine their lots. In the attempt to support newer and more inexperienced producers around to breach into the specialty market, Beneficio San Vicente and Collaborative Coffee Source decided to curate a regional blend of different small producers with the potential to produce quality.
This regional blend mix of Pacas, Catuai, Parainema and Lempira varietals and Lempira is considered lower quality than Pacas, Bourbon, Typica, and Caturra specialty buyers usually look for in Honduras. However, it tends to be less susceptible to diseases, including leaf rust. Most of these farms employ two permanent staff at best and five pickers during the harvest season from December to April and are located around 1580 to 1820masl. Finding pickers can be challenging, but Beneficio San Vicente provides support. Each picker is paid 110 Lempiras (CAD$ 5.67) per 100lbs of coffee. Beneficio San Vicente processes the coffee at the milling station. Coffee is handpicked to remove defects, de-pulped and fermented, then put on raised African beds. It is circulated every half hour for 15 days to ensure even drying. We liked that project, as we are willing to develop relationships with emerging producers breaching into the specialty market and were surprised by the quality of Cabañas. Very typical of the Santa Barbara terroir, you will find a high sweetness in the cup, a nice complexity, the classic caramel backbone and hints of tropical fruits.
A comforting cup.