I went to Santa Barbara, about 2 hours drive south from San Pedro Sula, located in the northwestern part of Honduras, the second largest city.
In my second year of roasting, I encountered coffee from this area and fell in love with its impressive and powerful personality.
Continuing from last year, I visited the producers this year as well.
In 2012, Mario Moreno planted coffee seedlings on this site, and four years later, from the 2016 harvest, we started buying El Guayabo coffee.
In fact, this land was affected by the 1998 hurricane, and a quarter hectare (2500m2) of the slope caused a landslide.
As a result, El Guayabo Farm is littered with large and small rocks.
This rock may produce minerals and drainage, creating a unique environment.
When I ate some ripe coffee berries, I felt that they were firm in fiber and low in moisture.
The fruit juice is not just sweet, but has a firm sweetness, and the mucilage seems to cover the parchment strongly.
Altitude is 1700 meters. The intense temperature difference seems to produce hard and firm fruit.
Cup of Excellence 16th place in 2015, 4th place in 2016, and 3rd place in 2017 are convincing results.
The day I visited this time was in the evening, so it was so hot that I couldn't wear short sleeves.
In addition to the cold weather, it has been raining a lot this year, and the soil has become so hard and tight as clay that the roots cannot absorb enough nutrients.
If the coffee tree does not get enough nutrients from the roots, the whole tree becomes weak and susceptible to diseases such as leaf blast. and the yield will be reduced.
It was the first time since 2012 that we have had a lot of rain and low temperatures like this year, he said with concern.
Lake Yojoa, a giant lake on the slopes of Santa Barbara, creates an environment that normally produces excellent coffee, with its mountain topography and microclimate (always changeable climate), but this year, When the whole northern hemisphere experiences record cold temperatures, it doesn't do much for taste or yield. I still don't know how many coffee beans will be produced this season and will reach us, but I would like to continue watching.
Nelson Ramirez (Farm name: Chely)
I went to see Nelson Ramirez again this year.
After retiring from a major food company that does business with McDonald's, he started growing coffee in Santa Barbara in 2010.
Currently, there are 14 permanent employees, and about 60 pickers are working during the harvest season.
In Santa Barbara, Honduras, it rains a lot in May and June, and coffee flowers bloom from around October.
Coffee cherries are harvested from December to May.
However, due to climate change this year, the start was two months late.
The coffee harvest is affected not only by the climate of the season, but also by the previous year's harvest, which affects the next season's harvest.
2017 has been a bountiful harvest, plus the cold weather this year means a late and long harvest. Yield is expected to be lower than last year.
Cultivation of coffee in such a harsh environment requires attention to the nutrients given to coffee trees.
Here, near the wet mill, we produce the nutritious source of coffee.
It is made by mixing the removed coffee pulp with bird droppings and rice husks.
Follow the expert's instructions, calculate the soil condition of the site and the yield of the season, and apply the required amount of compost to the soil.
Twice a year, once in June. The second time is from October to November when it flowers.
Nelson himself had a shovel and mixed the fertilizer on this day as well.
I had lunch with Nelson the next day.
When I told him how much we bought last season, he seemed really happy.
He said again, "Thanks to the purchase of our coffee, we can pay the workers, maintain the equipment, and invest in new equipment. Thank you very much." gave me He is actively investing in the future to continue making great coffee.
It is a miracle in a way that there is a moment when you think coffee is delicious.
We roasters cannot make delicious coffee without high-quality ingredients (raw beans).
Growers work with their most formidable partner, the weather, and they interact with the soil, and they work with the people involved in harvesting to bring us the best of the season.
I would appreciate it if you could think of such a relationship while drinking a cup of coffee.
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