When I cup these many coffees, I often cup very tiny lots (i.e. less than 200 lb of green coffee) so in order to make this into a viable coffee offering on our menu, I need to find complementary coffees and group them into a single blend. This has a couple of great advantages for you: first, because we’re creating a larger lot from these tiny lots, our coffees last a few weeks as opposed to a couple of days. Second, when blending complementary coffees, often the resulting blend is better than the sum of its parts.
Now making this blend requires a lot of nuance. The coffees have to be grown around the same area and be of similar enough varietals so that the resulting density of the coffee in the blend is consistent and doesn’t have a ton of variance. If I neglected this seemingly petty detail, the blend would contain lots of different bean densities and this would make it very hard to hit a good roast. For instance, if the roast is optimized for the high density beans, the lower density ones would be over-roasted, resulting in flat or bitter flavours.
This blend consists of coffees from Margarito Herrera, Benjamin Vallecillo, Roselis Herrera, Wilson Vallecillo, Francisco Rodriguez, Nelson Vallecillo, Yoni Vallecillo, and Evin Herrera. All of them are around the same area in El Cielito, around 1500-1600m and the varieties are Pacas and Yellow Catuaí. The region of El Cielito is so special to me - it’s the first coffee region I visited on my first trip to Honduras in 2011. The drive goes through banana and plantain plantations, bamboo forests, undulating hills and valleys, building up the anticipation long before hitting the village. El Cielito is home to several famous and successful coffee farms, many of whom have placed in the top 10 of the Cup of Excellence many times. Clearly, there’s something very special in this region!
The coffees from this region definitely have a nice fruit character, but the reason I felt this coffee would make an amazing espresso is actually the low notes I noticed in a lot of these day-lots. These low notes would range from oatmeal with brown sugar to milk chocolate covered hazelnuts. The result was a profile with a delicate fruit character, great silky body and lots of sweetness.