Honduras Finca El Puente’s 2020 crop is here and with an even richer chocolaty flavor. Meet our Coffee of the Month of September.
Once again we can offer you a cup of the tastiest coffee from Honduras with a chocolaty flavor. Honduras Finca El Puente’s batch from the new crop is here, inspite all the setbacks that this year has brought us. It is also our choice for the Coffee of the Month. We are extremely happy that we continue our partnership with the Cup of Excellence winners, the specialty coffee farm from Honduras, Finca El Puente. After the aromatic Java, we have here the second coffee from this year’s harvest. And there are 8 more aromatic coffee flavors to come!
But let’s not waste time – let’s have a cup of the tastiest chocolaty coffee from this Central American country, Honduras Finca El Puente … and let’s talk about coffee.
Honduras Finca El Puente with an even richer chocolaty flavor
Honduras coffee lovers and experts share the opinion that it is chocolate that you are most likely to find in the flavor of Honduran coffees. The aftertaste comes with lingering sweetness. The cup is fragrant, balanced, vibrant. Honduras’ new harvest Finca El Puente is all that. And more! The notes of rich, thick dark chocolate play with the sweet astringent taste of plum. Joker: find hazelnuts in the coffee aroma!
Why you should taste the tastiest coffee from Honduras with chocolaty flavor?
Honduras Finca El Puente is the best choice for a start if you haven’t tasted coffee from this Central American country yet. The renowned online edition Coffee Review have cupped 18 coffees back in 2013 and gave half fo them 90+ points. Bear in mind, that this result was achieved back in the day when Honduras was yet to establish itself as a specialty coffees producing country.
Coffee Review professionals compliment Honduras’ coffees to be old-fashioned. They come with a clean cup and a classic complex taste.
Our coffee hunter Jordan Dabov shares this opinion. It has become firm after his participation in the regional competition for specialty coffee Oro de Santa Barbara 2018, in the competition that is undoubtedly the highest standard for specialty coffee, Cup of Excellence 2019 and after the intense cuppings of delicious coffee in Finca El Puente last year.
The tastiest coffee from Honduras with a chocolaty flavor, Honduras Finca El Puente is grown at an elevation higher that 1350 m. It is therefore Strictly High Grown coffee. This in itself is a testament to its quality.
Finca El Puente’s lots are situated between 1500 m and 1680 m above the sea level.
High-growing coffee can develop its flavor characteristics to the fullest and reach excellent quality easily as compared to other coffees.
There are two factors that contribute to this.
On one hand is climate. Altitude makes for lower temperatures. As a result, coffee ripens slowly and the sugars in it develop at a moderate rate. This is what makes the coffee flavor richer, denser.
On the other hand, are the producers efforts. And let’s state it one more time,
Honduras Finca El Puente is produced by Cup of Excellence winners
Coffee was brought to Honduras in the 18th century. However, it was not until the 1950s that farmers focused on growing mass quantities of it. The country used to be famous for its banana exports. Today though it is either the 5th or 7th largest coffee producer in the world, depending on the year. However, the most important thing for us is that in addition to quantity, Honduras also boasts of remarkable quality!
Marysabel Caballero Garcia and Ezri Moises Herrera Urizar have founded Finca el Puente in 1996 in the county of Chinacla of the department of La Paz, Honduras. The birth of their farm is also the beginning of their family. Finca El Puente is located in the most well-known coffee producing region of Marcala. It stands about 175 kilometers from Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras.
20 years after they founded Finca El Puente, Marysabel and Moises won Cup of Excellence Honduras. When they have founded their farm, the interest towards specialty coffee in their country was still vague. They had to walk a long road with many obstacles and not spare efforts to reach the top.
Marysabel and Moises win the COE with a Geisha. In 2016, their Geisha won the competition with 91,70 points. Do you remember that last year it was also a Geisha that won the competition in Honduras? And it was indeed the highest-rated COE Geisha in the world for 2019! If you haven’t tasted it yet, do it now – we have won the auction for Honduras Santa Lucia Geisha COE # 1 2019.
How do Marysabel and Moises develop their specialty coffee farm
Before and after the COE award, Marysabel and Moises have worked hard to constatnly better the quality of their coffees. And to add new lots to their farm. As you already know, Marysabel’s family has been growing coffee for more than 100 years, since 1915. Moises had experience in processing, preparing and exporting coffee in Guatemala before moving to Honduras.
Finca El Puente has 36 different lots. Each has a different name which helps in several ways to organize the production and split up the work. Finca el Puente does not count with any type of certification. This is due to the fact that since the beginning Marysabel’s and Moises’ main focus has been to produce quality coffee and better its quality. Every year, professional cuppers and their customers personally verify the merits of Finca El Puente’s coffees and continue to order them.
Acording to Honduran Coffee Institute – IHCAFE (Instituto Hondureño Del Café) 10% from Honduran coffee is differentiated. This includes specialty coffee, coffees certified as organic or Fair Trade, and micro lots. In 2015-2016, the specialty coffee export reached amazing 19% from the whole coffee export.
If you still have doubts that you have specialty coffee in front of you, read our article.
What kind of coffees do Finca El Puente produce?
80% of the entire production is from the Catuai variety. The tastiest coffee from Honduras with chocolate flavor, Honduras Finca El Puente is also Catuai. The rest 20% include Geisha, Java, Pacamara, Red and Yellow Bourbon, Pacas, SL-28, Batían. Marysabel and Moises also have a special varietal garden with around 30 more varieties.
Finca el Puente currently counts with 180 hectares of planted coffee of different age. This is the result of slow but steady acquiring of more lots since 1996. The farm is currently producing 3500-4000 bags of 46kg each annually. The soil is rich in clay which means the farmers have to work extra in the betterment of the soil. They apply a lot of organic matter to have a satisfactory crop.
Normally, the harvest season goes from December to April. During this time the workers also process the coffee. Coffee is shipped according to clients’ needs. Some clients ask for coffee as early as February and others – in July. That is why storing properly the coffee is very important.
Marysabel and Moises believe in the following ideals: family sustainability, social sustainability and environmental sustainability. Their farm reflects all of them.
How do they process coffee in Finca El Puente?
“Our farm counts with its own mill, called Beneficio Xinacla, says Marysabel. “Traditionally our farm produces washed coffees. Lately, we have also started processing naturally. We have also experimented with anaerobic and semi-anaerobic process. They’re very new and only make up about 10% of our total production.”
As time has gone by and the environmental rules of Honduras have changed, so was the mill modified. However, always with the main goal to achieve the highest quality. “Lately we have been depulping coffee with a dry method. We leave it to rest in fermentation tanks for approximately 14-16 hours,” tells us Marysabel. “On the following day we remove mucilage with mechanical washers. Even though we try to use as little water as possible, there is still some residual water. We use it to water some of our farms.”
Because of the high quantity of mucilage in that water, it also functions as a fertilizer for the plants. Part of the water remains in storage holes for treatement. This way at the end of the year some other farmers can recieve it for their needs.
Sun simulation to dry coffee
After the washing, they place coffee on patios for around 6-8 hours. There, it is pre-dried under the sun. Then comes the time for the horizontal mechanical dryers, Guardiolas.
„The coffee is dried very slowly so that it resembles being dried under the sun. For this we maintain the heat that reaches the beans at around 20-25°. As a result, this whole drying process takes around 60-70 hours.”Marysabel Caballero
Marysabel and Moises dry the special lots and specific varieties on raised African beds. Depending on what the farmers are looking for as an end result, they use either sun, or a mixture of both sun and shade. This elongates the drying time for washed coffees to about 18 days and natural coffees to about 30 days. Once coffees reach moisture content of 10-11%, the drying process ends.
Then farmers put coffee in a plastic bag similar to a grain-pro bag inside of a Nylon bag. Before sealing, they take a small sample out of each bag in order to know the quality of each lot. Once farmers seal the bags, they put them inside a warehouse with a label for traceability. Until coffee sails off towards you from Puerto Cortés port, Marysabel and Moises store it in the farm’s storage.