by Mike Perry, CEO and Green Coffee Buyer
From El Salvador we took the early flight to Honduras where Chuck of Bird Rock Roasters and I meet up with Martin Diedrich of Kean Coffee and Sherri Johns. For those who do not know Sherri she is a long time Cup of Excellence Head Judge who knows Honduras well and coordinated this part of our trip. Being a Head Judge for the best coffee of this country, Sherri knew all the top farmers and regions for us to visit and took full advantage to make this trip special for all of us. Currently Klatch Coffee does not offer coffee from Honduras but last year at the SCAA Coffee of the Year competition I tasted and enjoyed what Honduras had to offer. Apparently a lot of other people did as well since Honduras was the winning country in the competition.
Upon landing we hit the ground running and went straight to IHCAFE to tour their facility and cup coffee from various regions. IHCAFE is like the SCAA but for Honduras and geared more for producers. The equipment is state of the art and had me green with envy. IHCAFE was also kind enough to provide in country transportation and loaned us several of their people to assist in our search for the best of Honduras.
From San Pedro Sula we headed to El Cielito and visited farms in the region of Santa Barbara. This region produced the several COE winners in the past and last year's Coffee of the Year winner (plus over half the top 10 COE winners). Thanks to Sherri and our IHCAFE guide Carlos we were able to meet several farmers and tour their lands. Most were very small, very high up, and just beginning to harvest. For this reason we were too early to cup lots but started to build great relationships and will be getting samples next month to cup and purchase.
The views were spectacular as we seemed to be above many clouds. The temperatures were very cool and the farmers all milled their own cherries and dried on raised beds, mostly covered. As it started to get dark we headed back for the night just in time to catch the 2nd half of the Super Bowl on Spanish TV. We had a great time but missed the famous and anticipated commercials showed in the U.S, since they only showed conventional Spanish commercials.
This was a great start to our Honduras trip and one of my highlights for sure. Stay tune for more highlights from Honduras.
TAGS: HONDURAS, SHERRI JOHNS, CUP OF EXCELLENCE, SCAA, IHCAFE, SAN PEDRO SULA, EL CIELITO