Sunday, February 26, 2012

The first coffees of the Year

The first coffees of the year have come out of the solar dryers at the beneficio, and we couldn’t be more excited about the results! We recently cupped coffees from Pastor Bernardo Ponce and Antonio (Toñito) Ponce Bautista. Pastor Bernardo’s coffee scored an 85.5, with honey sweetness and a lemon acidity.

Toñito’s coffee score an 88.5. Regional IHCAFE cupping director Ramon Reyes cupped Toñito’s coffee and, without knowing the producer or that it was processed at UMF’s new beneficio, said “I need to send this coffee to San Pedro Sula to put it in front of the national Cup Of Excellence panel of judges. This coffee has a profile that I haven’t ever seen before in this region.” The profile of Toñito’s coffee included strawberries, bitter chocolate, lavender and cardamom. Mr. Reyes also requested another sample to enter into a Honduran coffee competition. If it does well enough in this competition, his coffee will get an automatic entry into the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Coffee of the Year competition. Last year two of the top 10 coffees in the world came out of Honduras, one of them from the same region as La Unión.

Other top scoring coffees thus far have been Rigoberto Paz, producing a coffee with a sweet tangerine flavor and honey sweetness; Sara Juarez, producing a coffee that tastes of an orange creamsicle with subtle notes of coffee blossom and milk chocolate; and Pablo Paz, producing a coffee that has notes of black tea, coffee berry, and dry wine.

We will be working diligently this week to cup coffees produced by Filadelfo Juarez, Francis Castillo, and a second lot by Pablo Paz. These three farmers produced some of the best coffees that came out of La Unión last year. Additionally, we will be cupping coffees from over a dozen farmers who are hoping to export their coffee for the first time ever, including Noe Amaya and other farmers enrolled in UMF’s microloan program.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Small Farmer, Big Plans: Part Three

Unión MicroFinanza continues the story of farmer Antonio Ponce Bautista in UMF's third Fresh Cup Magazine article.

In this installment of the five-part series, Tonito has high hopes for this year. He may have to contend with bad weather and muddy roads, but that doesn't hinder his plans for future harvests.

"Small Farmer, Big Plans: Part III" is published in Fresh Cup's February issue, and can be found online here:

For an introduction to the series, watch this video: