Barista Magazine

AUG-SEP 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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H O N D U R A S Counter Culture Coffee's annual Origin Field Lab (OFL) is a trip I've wanted to go on for years, so when I found out I would attend the 2019 trip to Honduras, you can imagine how excited I was. Truly, this ended up being the best trip of my life. I had previously only been out of the United States once, and that was to England, so the thought of a weeklong trip to Honduras was certainly a daunting one. My coworker Destiny Yoder and I agonized for weeks over our packing lists and what to expect. Getting there was the easy part and, aside from a misplaced toiletry bag at the airport, went according to plan. D AY 1 — S A N P E D R O S U L A We landed in San Pedro Sula in Honduras Monday afternoon and shuffl ed into a long and near-silent line at customs. We were met by the famous Honduran producers Marysabel Caballero and Moises Herrera of Finca El Puente, who drove us to our fi rst hotel to meet up with our OFL peers. To say we had an amazing group would be an understatement: Ben Helfen, Bryan Duggan, and Penelope Hearne of Counter Culture Coffee in Durham, N.C.; Rachel Huffman and Melinda Lio of Dose in Nashville, Tenn.; Kenia Canales of Open City in Washington, D.C.; Margaret Kumar of The Coffee Room in New- town, Pa.; Annie Trendler of Winter Hill Brewing Company in Boston; and myself and Destiny Yoder of Not Just Coffee in Charlotte, N.C. Marysabel took the afternoon to show us around San Pedro Sula. Our fi rst order of business was obviously to check out some local coffee shops. We stopped at a place called Crust-n-Crumb, which was a cute coffee shop/drive-through complete with a coffee lab (boasting a familiar Counter Culture fl avor wheel on the wall) and a Diedrich roaster. The man roasting there was also a papaya producer, who wouldn't let us leave without a papaya in hand. The baristas brewed us coffee from the town of Marcala in Honduras as a Chemex, Hario V60, and espresso to share. All the drinks were delicious. Our next stop was Cafeteo, where we were served three different coffees, also from Marcala, in a beautiful conference room off to the side of the café, which was decorated with pictures of coffee and producers. We also tried Cafeteo's coffee slushie and an incredible carrot cake from the pastry case. While at the café, Destiny asked about places we could walk around in the area, which Marysabel took to mean she wanted to go hiking, and immediately signed us up for a 6 a.m. hike the next morning. We all thanked Destiny profusely. Our fi rst dinner experience in Honduras, advocated strongly for by Ben, was a fast-food chain called Power Chicken (oh yeah). This place was the bomb. They had chicken of course, but more importantly they had amazing rice, beans, tortillas, yucca, and multiple versions of plan- tains available. Ben ordered a ton of food for everyone, which we all passed around and devoured. It was a pretty great fi rst introduction to Honduran food. We rolled ourselves back to the van and to the hotel for some sleep before our early alarm the next day. D AY 2 — S A N P E D R O S U L A T O S A N TA R O S A D E C O PA N Five o'clock in the morning is no one's favorite time of day, but it was absolutely worth it once we found out what was in store for us. Penelo- Opposite page, top: Our group poses a er a picking session at Finca El Puente. Below: One of the hauls from picking—it's really hard work! This page: One of Finca El Puente's veteran farm managers patiently answers our many questions about agronomy and coff ee-planting philosophy. 43 www.baristamagazine.com

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