Honduras - La Joya
Farm: Finca La Joya
Producer: Pablo Andres Guerrero
Origin: Guinope, El Paraiso
Altitude: 1550 MASL
Varietal: Parainema, Lempira
Roast Level: Medium (Full City)
Cupping Notes: Marshmallow, Cocoa Nibs, White Grape, Vibrant, Lingering
A little about this year's coffee from our partner on the ground in Honduras:
"Our involvement in the coffee farm began as a result of our mission work in Honduras. I have taken teams to Honduras (with Louder Than Words Ministries) since 2007 and in 2010 we were joined by a friend from high school, Rusty Russell. Rusty and I hadn't seen each other in several years until our 30th class reunion. He was aware of our work in Honduras and he decided he wanted to go with us. Tony Castro is a Spanish/English language interpreter on our mission trips and now serves as the operations manager at Finca La Joya in Honduras. Rusty really loved the people of Buenos Aires, the village that we were serving then, and he wanted to do something to help them bring in some income from outside their village. Eventually we decided to get 2,000 coffee plants for each of the 25 families in the village and help them with the expenses of getting established as coffee farmers. That project worked out so well that we decided it would be exciting to buy some land and start producing our own coffee. Tony participated in our discussions and said he wanted to be a part of it too. A few years later Tony found a piece of property near Guinope in the Department of El Paraiso with an elevation of 5,000 feet plus that ended up being exactly what we needed. We chose this property because of its altitude (5,200-5,700 feet above sea level), its size, and the fact that the existing vegetation didn't require us to cut a forested area. The vegetation that we cleared was primarily small "scrubby" plants no larger than about 15-20 feet tall.
We have planted several varietals, including Gesha and Bourbon many of these varietals are young plants that are not producing yet. The varietals in this year’s harvest are Parainema and Lempira. We are able to control the drying process in raised beds in our drying houses. On the day that they were picked, the coffee cherries were placed in direct sunlight on tarps on the ground. For the next two days the cherries were stirred with rakes every few hours. After two days of direct sunlight we moved the cherries inside to the raised drying beds. The beds are screen on the bottom and they are on racks to provide good ventilation. We continued to stir several times daily until we reached the desired moisture level of about 12%. The process typically took about 10-14 days. When the coffee reached the desired moisture level we put it in large plastic Grainpro bags and placed the bags under a shade tree to cool for a few hours. We have plans to expand the drying operation over the next few years as production increases.
Our farm is not certified organic but we keep environmental impact in mind as we make decisions about farm operations. As I mentioned, we wanted to avoid cutting existing vegetation as much as possible when we got our start. Our fertilizer is a chicken manure based fertilizer. We like being able to provide a way for the chicken houses to dispose of their waste and we also like having a fertilizer that originates from a natural substance.
At La Joya we regularly employ about ten people, sometimes more. Guinope has an average household size of about five people so we're instrumental in providing for about 50 people overall and we expect that to increase over time.
We're kind of excited about the coffee that we have produced at La Joya and hope you will be too."