CHECK THE PRODUCTS
Region: San Marcos de Colon
Farm: Small Producers
Variety: Blend of Varieties
Process: Fully Washed
250 gr Whole Bean :
1 kg Whole Bean :
Notes Of A Roaster From The Underground: citrus, caramel
Wapaia means "on the way" in the Miskito language. It refers to the work of the producer, a former professor who has converted to coffee production and who is still learning. This coffee is a varietal blend, organic certified, grown at 1,200 - 1,700 meters above sea level. It is harvested by hand, prepared by washing and dried on patios. The region of San Marcos de Colon is one of the oldest and also the largest region of Honduras located in the east of the country on the border with Nicaragua. Recently, the region has suffered from the rust attack. The reputation of the region continues to grow, driven by the Cup of Excellence victory in 2017. Oscar Daniel Ramirez Valerio's, the winner, grew a Parainema in this region. Parainema is a rust resistant Sarchimor hybrid. Hybrids were often looked down upon by growers before, but they are in fact just as good as the more widely used botanical varieties.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the “origin” story of Honduras isn’t clear: Reports vary about when and how coffee first came to the country, though conventional wisdom puts the first noteworthy harvest year at 1804, in the Comayagua department. No matter when the plants were first brought here, they have played an increasingly significant role in the national economy since then—so much so that credit is largely given to coffee for preventing the national government from going bankrupt during financial crisis in 2009.
Established in 1970 (and privatized in 2000), the country’s Instituto Hondureño del Cafe (IHCAFE) has sought to improve the infrastructure that would encourage the development of higher-quality markets, as well as provide hardier varieties and technological advancements, especially to the many smallholder growers. The organization is also very involved in organizing and marketing the country’s Cup of Excellences competitions, which have brought a noteworthy increase in attention and credit given to the finest lots the producers here have to offer.
Despite lacking the “sexy” reputation of other Central American coffee-growing countries like Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Guatemala, Honduras has quietly become the bigger producer, exporting more volume than any other nation in the region, and the seventh overall in the world for exports. While there is certainly quantity coming out of Honduras, it can be harder to find truly quality coffees here, though, because the country lacks the infrastructure to support the more nuanced specialty market its neighbors enjoy.
The Central Bank of Honduras reports that coffee is the top agricultural export for the country, with about 6.1 million bags from the 2015/2016 harvest. Unfortunately, low prices and a reputation for lower quality (“blenders”) has prevented farmers from gaining the capital needed to invest in their varieties, husbandry, milling, or marketing.
Drying is a particularly difficult part of the processing chain that has limited Honduras’s breakthrough as a true specialty origin: Because of the climate, many producers are increasingly turning to fully mechanical drying, which certainly speeds up the drying process but can contribute to overall instability in the moisture content and water activity of the lots, which can result in quality concerns over time.
The prominence of quality competitions and high-profile auctions such as the Cup of Excellence has inspired larger and wealthier producers to plant new varieties, experiment with processing, and make improvements to their technique and infrastructure. Increased research and extension services by IHCAFE has also contributed to heightened awareness of the specialty-coffee market among Honduran producers, and there is continued potential as media and social media attention increases on the nation.