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We’ve bought coffee from Santa Barbara, Honduras, since 2013, and in the process, we’ve developed close relationships with the producers we work with there: Juan Angel and his son Irvin Izaguirre, Nelson Moreno, and Miguel Ortiz.

Mountain in Santa Barbara, Honduras

Juan Angel is a family man and has six children. The farm he works is 30 years old and roughly eight acres across two lots. He grows pacas and catimor varieties and employs four pickers during harvest season. Including his family, 10 people help pick ripe cherries, often making three passes over the farm to ensure they are harvesting as much cherry as they can. They then pulp the cherries and let them sit for 16 hours in tanks to dry ferment. After washing the coffee they transfer it to raised beds for 10-15 days. Over the last few years he has been working on replanting land with the gesha variety. Like most farmers, he has been having issues finding labor to assist with stumping and maintaining his lots. Juan Angel is also a great neighbor as they have a corn mill in their front room that all have access to so they can make fresh tortillas.

Irvin Izaguirre is the son of Juan Angel, and he was gifted his father’s highest elevation and most prized lot: La Montaña. The lot was split between him and his brother Orlin, but since Orlin is in the US, Irvin helps maintain the lot with his father. They grow primarily pacas but have a little bourbon there as well. With such high elevation, they have issues with wind but are utilizing mulberry trees as windbreaks and planting more every year.

Ripe coffee cherries on the branch

Nelson Moreno comes from a coffee family and we have been lucky enough to buy his coffee for the last several years. Nelson has several lots covering almost 60 acres. We buy Nelson’s anaerobically processed pacas variety which is pulped, sealed in barrels for 80 hours, and then left in open air fermentation tanks for 12 hours before being washed and left to dry on raised beds for 12-13 days. He employs four year-round workers and 11-13 employees during harvest to help pick the ripe cherries. While over the last several years he has dealt with many difficulties like the pandemic, hurricanes, and roya, production costs have been the hardest to work through. To counter that, he’s been working on projects such as expanding the family wet mill and drying beds, planting new varieties,and submitting coffees to the COE.

Miguel Ortiz is located on a different side of the Santa Barbara mountain than Nelson and Juan Angel in Los Flores. He was the first producer we worked with out of the Santa Barbara region. We have primarily purchased from the lot that he purchased in 1987 where he grows catamor and catuai varieties. They process this coffee by dry fermenting it for 16 hours and then drying it in a parabolic dryer for about seven days. While Miguel has a very large family with eight sons and their families all living on the farm with him, they are still having issues with finding hand labors for picking and other projects around the farm. They typically utilize 10-15 people to harvest the cherry. He is also currently working on planting avocado trees for additional revenue and guama for shade trees.

Three of our coffees from Santa Barbara, Honduras, in 8oz bags

We’re excited to bring all these coffees back to our menu (Miguel Ortiz coming soon), so we hope you’ll try them and enjoy as much as we do!

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