Every harvest, I go to Honduras and cup every single daylot from every producer we work with. This is a lot of work, but allows me to find standout daylots that I want to separate and showcase what these producers have to offer. The trouble is that sometimes these daylots are tiny, making it impractical to release it as a coffee, so this is where blending comes in handy! The coffees are all grown in similar conditions (soil, altitude, variety, rainfall) so it’s easy to blend them.
The coffee went through similar processing - depulped the same day it was picked, and fermented for 36-40 hours. The coffee was all dried at Margarito’s farm, where he has shaded raised beds - the best way to dry!
Here is more background on Margarito!
Margarito has played a large part in this drive towards quality and has recently focused a lot of energy into his farm. This enthusiasm has motivated us to invest in his farm, and help him to design and finance a new drying structure with raised beds.
After my first visit in 2012, Margarito took the initiative to build a brand new fermentation tank. It was this drive and initiative that I first noticed about Margarito. Since that time, we have been buying his entire production, along with the coffee produced by his father, Juan, who sadly passed away in 2020. From the start of our partnership, I have been working with Margarito to build infrastructure to improve his drying. I have visited Margarito several times each year since then and worked with him, with the help of Benjamin Paz, to set up detailed protocols for drying. Initially, we built a parabolic drying structure with removable curtains to allow airflow during the day.
The results were very encouraging. His coffee tasted amazing, with stable moisture and water activity readings
-- two measurements that are paramount to the shelf stability of green coffee. In 2014, we worked with Margarito to add shade to his drying beds for slower and more even drying. Margarito separates his coffee by variety.
Margarito’s production is still very small, but is slowly growing. With his Cup of Excellence funds from 2012, he was able to purchase a small plot of land near his existing farm, in which he planted more Pacas. This coffee started to produce in 2016, and late in 2017 it started to yield a more sizable harvest, allowing Margarito to grow his production by 30%. In the years since we started with Margarito, his hard work has resulted in an increase in production of 100%. This volume increase is important for Margarito’s ability to sustain himself with coffee - his production is still a mere 18 burlap bags per year.
In 2019, Margarito portioned out some of his land to his two older sons: Kevin and Evin. The two sons are continuing their work with the same dedication as their father, and I have already seen the injection of energy they bring to the team. They are keen to improve the farm practices and introduce organic agriculture to their farms.
Every time I visit Margarito, I am touched by his sincere desire to improve and grow as a producer. Margarito is a serious family man, with hopes of providing his children with more than his parents provided for him, a noble goal for a noble man.