Barista Magazine

AUG-SEP 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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pe brewed coffee in her room using the full brewing setup she brought with her, which included a coffee machine, pourovers, kettles, scales— the whole deal. Coffee in hand, we made our way out to the van. Our driver, Nelo, who I'm certain was also not happy about the ear- ly hour, took us on a short drive over to the starting point of our hike. I have to mention that this van and our driver became an integral part of our journey around Honduras, steady constants on a busy trip. On one of our longer drives, we found out that Nelo used to live in the United States for a while, specifi cally in Durham. Small world, right? The hike was long and very steep, and we all struggled to chug up this hill. Meanwhile the locals were walking, running, and cycling past us like it was no big deal. Forty-fi ve minutes after starting, drenched in sweat and a little grumpy, we made it to the summit, where we found an amazing coconut stand manned by one person with a machete chopping up and selling coconuts for those who make the climb. Let me tell you that I have never experienced anything as refreshing and heavenly as drinking directly out of a fresh coconut after a hot and exhausting trek, overlooking a hazy city just after sunrise. It was truly transcendent. OK, onto the coffee portion of the day. A short drive from our hotel landed the group at Bon Cafe exporters, a 20-year-old exporter with locations in San Pedro Sula, Copan, Marcala, Lempira, and Intibucá. Christian LeSage, the general manager, delivered an amazing presen- tation on everything about Honduras, from its history of agriculture to its position as a renowned specialty-coffee producer. He also briefed us on Honduran culture, including some backstory on producers and the challenges they face. One out of every eight Hondurans' livelihoods are directly tied to coffee, so it's important to consider the full picture of cof- fee production in this country. Essentially, specialty coffee in Honduras has only been developing since about 2000, when there was one trained cupper in the whole country. The Cup of Excellence in 2003 helped that change, and today Honduras is recognized as a single origin with large amounts of differentiated coffees sold. The key changes that helped this progress were things like more cupping and tasting, Q-grader educa- tion, and installations of cupping labs at exporter offi ces and co-ops. These developments created a common language, which continues to help the country's quality evolve. Bon Cafe is incredible because it focuses not only on processing quality coffee, but also on the real issues in-country. Its mission is to advance Honduras through coffee by improving technology and sustainability practices, bettering the lives of producers and their children by building schools and nurseries, and paying producers premiums for their coffee. D AY 3 — S A N P E D R O S U L A T O L A L A B O R — C O C A F E L O L A N D F I N C A PA S H A PA The next morning, Delmy Regalado met us at Benefi cio San Marcos (BSM), a cooperative in Ocotepeque. BSM provides services to pro- Top le : Kenia translates while Roberto at COCAFELOL explains how his worms and fertilizer benefi t the local producers. Right: In the seedling nursery, we get a sneak-peek at the next generation of coff ee trees in Honduras. 44 barista magazine

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