Honduras El Cañal
Processing: Washed and patio dried
Region: Santa Barbara
Growing Altitude: 1550-1580m
Notes of candied apricot, salted caramel, and vanilla followed by toffee and milk chocolate. The coffee has a sweet acidity and buttery body.
Specialty grade coffee in Honduras has traveled a long and difficult road. In 1998, just as a small number of coffee farmers and exporters were finding their way into the American specialty coffee market, Honduras was devastated first by hurricane Mitch, and then by the storms and floods of 1999. In addition, most of the country’s coffee is produced by smallholders, and due to lack of infrastructure, many processes and dry their coffee themselves, then mix these small lots together and sell to exporters. It sounds neighborly, but the results can be disappointing in quality. That said, several factors have changed and resulted in an explosion of quality coffees from Honduras and in enthusiasm about Honduran coffees around the world.
One major reason for this is the Cup of Excellence competition, which brought an increased awareness of both cup quality and the factors that influence it. Over and over, the Santa Barbara region, with its high mountains and cool, misty climate, placed among the top and delighted palates around the world.
James Coffee Co. has worked with Glenis Izaguirre at Finca El Cañal in Santa Barbara for four years running. His farm is 1.4 hectares. Here's what owner and roaster David Kennedy have this to say about the relationship:
"I don't really have the words to describe what having a direct connection and relationship with where the coffee comes from means to me. I just don't have the words... What I can say is that it's an incredible eye-opening experience to be there (at El Cañal), to shake the hands of those who are actually responsible for what is in our cups back here at home... How even being so far away from there, not just physically, but culturally, we can positively affect their lives. It's truly an exhilarating and real partnership."