This is a washed SHG grade microlot from producer Doroteo Paz's farm Finca El Milagro in the Montecillos region of south-west Honduras. This lot was produced as part of a collaborative project with Beneficio San Vincente. Read more about this project in our blog post, “New, Different, Exciting: Microlot Separation and Prep in Honduras.”
Doroteo Paz Leiva is a small farmer from the community of Los Andes, Santa Barbara department. He is a producer with a lot of experience in coffee cultivation, experience acquired from an early age when he helped out on his father's farm in his spare time. When Doroteo was of age he had the opporunity to buy his current farm at a reasonable price and plant trees at a quick rate. However the local and international market at the time was a not sustainable and Doroteo considered giving up on the project completely. When the San Vincente specialty project began in 2016, the stable market which Doroteo had been looking for was finally available, reactivating his passion for coffeee production and motivating him to improve his farm and processing to increase the quality of his crop.
Finca El Milagro is situated at 1,580masl and includes the varieties of Pacas (50%), Bourbon (40%) and Catimor (10%).
Ripe coffee cherries are pulped and then dry fermented for 19 - 22 hours depending on ambient conditions. After this the coffee is thoroughly washed with clean water to remove any excess mucilage from the beans. The coffee is then dried on raised African beds for 20-25 days. The parchment coffee is turned to ensure consistent drying and prevent over-fermentation or mold formation, and during this period the parchment is also handpicked to remove any defects.
This coffee comes from the village of San Jose de Los Andes on Santa Barbara Mountain, a mountainous massif with an area of 121.3 km2 and a maximum height of 2750 meters above sea level, which is mostly a virgin forest reserve declared as a national park since 1987.
Most of the native people of the area began to grow coffee since the 1940s, mainly in the lower areas, although it was always a secondary crop. From the 1970s, coffee became the main crop in the area, promoted by the rise in prices at that time, with Bourbon being the most widespread varieties. Since then coffee has become the basis of the local economy for these communities, as well as an important cultural element.
The Montecillos region is notable for its high altitude and subsequently cool temperatures, which allow coffee cherries to mature slowly and develop increased complexity in the cup.