October 2022’s Coffee Origin - Honduras Lennon Diaz Finca 'Liquidambar'
We were looking through our notes and noticed that the last Honduras offering we Cupped together was during the black hole that was 2020. Honduras coffees are a staple in my personal coffee rotation and I wanted to share one that we recently came across. This month's coffee is Honey Processed and Certified Organic and Fair Trade. While it may be hard to remember the previous Honduras we Cupped years ago, we decided It's About Cupping Time we tried another!
What Is Honey Processed?
While there are many processes for preparing coffee beans, the two most commonly mentioned are Natural and Washed. To keep things relatively simple, Honey Processed, is essentially a hybrid of these two.
In a nutshell:
Natural Processed Coffee is where cherries are dried in the sun or mechanically with the fruit in tact. The fruit dries to the desired moisture level (kind of like a raisin) fermenting while the stone absorbs sugars and other compounds. The cherries are then de-pulped to remove the fruit and mucilage leaving the stone (what we know as a coffee bean). The lengthy drying and fermentation period leaves hints of the original fruit in the coffee. This practice is common in Brazil, Ethiopia and origins with a long coffee history. While this can be time and labour intensive, the result is beautifully complex coffees and conservation of scarce water.
As it's name suggests, Washed Process Coffees are picked and then de-pulped to remove the fruit and mucilage. The stones are bathed and allowed to ferment (often for a few days), then washed to remove any of the remaining cherry before being dried. This technique is faster and more efficient, especially for large yield origins, it is the most common technique used today.
Combining benefits from both Washed and Natural Processes, Honey Processed Coffees are picked and then de-pulped. They are then dried without washing, leaving some of the mucilage and fruit on the stone. The thick, yellowy mucilage looks like honey as the stones dry (hence the name Honey Process). Altering how well the stone is de-pulped, the length of fermentation, and countless other variables, creates opportunities for beautiful coffee tasting notes.
This Month's Coffee Selection
Finca Liquidambar is located in Las Flores, near the municipality of Marcala, in an area renowned for its excellent coffee production. It is from Finca Liquidambar that Lennon Diaz, (a farmer who up until about 2014 had no intention of growing coffee), grows this month's offering. Until 2014 Lennon was a banker, his father was a dedicated lifelong coffee grower. Fortunately for us, Lennon's life changed course and he found himself in the family business. Diving head first into his new role, Lennon worked the field along side his father. To his delight, one of Lennon's earliest crops scored an 87 and likely cemented his future in coffee. Lennon became meticulous in his efforts to gain feedback and improve. He has become a farmer, a roaster, a QC expert, a processor and can apparently make an amazing cup of coffee.
Lennon is an associate of COMSA (Café Orgánico Marcala Sociedad Anónima). COMSA is a growers association that promotes Organic Agriculture and Quality as fundamental to their members. Lennon takes these fundamentals to heart from his Organic farming practices through his supervision of every aspect of his crops processing. While he may be relatively new to the game, Lennon has been making a name for himself in the Honduras coffee world and its time we tried a cup.
HONDURAS - LENNON DIAZ - HONEY PROCESSED - MICRO LOT
Region: Las Flores, Marcala, La Paz
Varietals: Pacas, Lempira, Catuai, Bourbon
Growing Elevation: 4150+ feet
Harvest: December through March
Certifications: Organic & Fair Trade
Process: Honey Processed and Sun Dried
Flavour Profile and Notes: GO CUP YOURSELF and find out!
This month we went a little lighter than the past few offerings. Sure, it's still a light to medium roast, just not quite as dark as usual. Why you ask? Well, I'll tell you. We tried several roast level and were having a fun, but difficult time coming to a consensus on as far as cupping notes go. The coffee always tasted like a clean, well balanced cup, but were those Berries or Wine, Chocolate or Toffee. We finally settled on this roast level and agreed on some Cupping notes (sort of), by the way, Toffee was the answer. This Honduras followed a similar roasting time and profile to other Honduras offering we have tried. that made it a pleasure to roast developing smoothly and evenly. Similar to our recent selections, this coffee should be a flavorful cup while being balanced enough to enjoy as an everyday coffee.
Once you have finished Cupping, click on the “EXPERT TASTED” tab for our tasting notes. Can’t wait to compare notes.
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