HONDURAS FINCA EL CHORRO: WORLD EXCLUSIVE SMALL BATCH MICROLOT!
This 20 bag microlot from Finca El Chorro in south west Honduras is a big coffee for us here at Small Batch; our first Honduran coffee and also the first lot we have bought in its entirety. Honduras has always been a large producing country in coffee terms and since the mid 2000’s production has doubled. Traditionally Honduras has been seen as more of a commodity producer than a home of high quality specialty lots. This small country sandwiched between Guatemala to the north, El Salvador to the west and Nicaragua to the south has never enjoyed the reputation for amazing coffee of its more illustrious neighbors but recent efforts by IHCAFE (the national coffee institute) have gone a long way toward changing things.
To begin with the growing conditions in Honduras are just as conducive to growing great coffee as the rest of Central America; mineral rich fertile soils, altitudes above 1000m and agreeable microclimates. What has been lacking for a long time is the infrastructure. IHCAFE have been working to provide low interest loans to farmers to help them buy modern processing equipment and to construct polytunnels to dry the coffee under when Honduras is suffering from its characteristic high rainfall.
These initiatives coupled with a worldwide trend toward specialty production have led to some really great coffees coming out of Honduras in the last few years and we are really excited to offer this microlot. Finca El Chorro is located near the city of El Pastal in the Marcala region close to the border with El Salvador. Marcala is one of six distinct growing regions or Denominaciones de Origen in Honduras. The farm itself is quite large by Honduran standards spread over 39 hectares, 14 of which are given over to coffee.
The owner Demetrio is a third generation coffee grower and was trained by his uncle after his side of the Martinez family had moved away from coffee production. With the help of his uncle, Demetrio planted the first coffee trees at El Chorro in 1980 on a single hectare of land. After the first harvest in 1982 Demetrio added a hectare or two when he could afford it, gradually building the farm up to its current level. During harvest season El Chorro takes on around 25 seasonal workers to help with the harvesting and various members of Demetrio’s family help out in the fields and the office (others have their own farms as well). The coffee is hand picked when ripe then pulped on the same day before being fermented and washed at the farms wet mill. In the past El Chorro has sold a lot of its coffee to bulk commodity buyers where it would be sold with many other famer’s crops as a bulk commodity lot. The farm is now focusing on producing high quality smaller lots that are processed and sold by themselves to roasters like ourselves.
On the cupping table the El Chorro jumped out immediately at us. With this coffee you can expect a big creamy mouthfeel wit a nice chocolate malt note and some subtle plummy fruit flavours underneath. This is a little more soft and rounded than the tangy fruity washed coffees of Guatemala and El Salvador but we are really excited about this coffee and really excited to offer something a little different from Central America.