Honduras, Marcala, La Paz
El Eden, by Antonio Contreras
Very dense, very high altitude natural process coffee.
About the producer:
Antonio grew up in the city of Marcala but worked on his grandfather’s coffee farm
during vacations. He remembers fondly helping to pick cherries and haul coffee
down the mountains on donkeys. His parents never paid much attention to the farm
except for using it for cow pasture and growing corn. When Antonio inherited the
farm in 2006, it had been mostly abandoned. Antonio started to work to renovate
the farm and experimented with planting coffee as well as vegetables for several
years. He was just starting to gain some momentum when the Rust disease
destroyed his coffee plants in 2012.
He was about to give up when the coffee price rocketed up and he decided to give
coffee another shot and planted the rust-resistant Icatú variety he now has on his
farm. The struggles continued and he fell into alcoholism for several years. Finally,
with the support of his church, he left alcoholism and many friends helped him
change his life and pour his energy into producing high quality coffee. He says that if
it wasn’t for the financial and emotional help of his friends, he never would have
been able to dedicate himself to his farm and produce this microlot
Antonio had taken a course several years back on anaerobic fermentation and
decided to look into the process again and found some Costa Rican studies that he
could replicate. He worked closely with a local cupper to try the coffee after 24, 48,
72 and 90 hours and found that a 90 hour anaerobic fermentation of the freshly
picked cherries was ideal. This was the first year that Antonio was able to produce
and sell a microlot and he is very excited about continuing to experiment and
producing excellent quality coffee for years to come.
At the sample table, months ago, we got very lucky in finding fruit punch vibes right away with this coffee. Almost no bitterness at all, on the sample we roasted.
This is both the first Icatu we’ve roasted, and the first Natural Process Honduran coffee we’ve offered in bags. It’s quickly become our favorite of the c. canephora / arabica crossbreeds we’ve tasted.
This particular coffee was extremely well picked and milled, requiring very little grooming on our end. It’s definitely been a learning experience, roasting, as it picks up roast flavors very early on. It took us a minute to find the notes that drew us to this coffee on the commercial roaster, but we scored, and it’s like candy without the calories. This coffee does not need cream… if you get the grind and extraction right, it’s big fruit, without the tart notes. It’s not like a natural Ethiopian or the natural Costa Ricans we love… this coffee is all it’s own thing.
It’s Kool Aid Tropical Fruit Punch sense memories like crazy.
Try it as a pourover at our cafe, or dive in and get a bag!
Light roast coffee. Brew HOT! Hot as you can.