Danny Moreno – Honduras

FLAVOR NOTES:
GREEN APPLE, RIPE BERRIES, TROPICAL FRUITS

Farm : La Sierra
Owner : Danny Moreno
Variety : Pacas

Process : Washed
Region : Santa Barbara
Micro Region : El Cedral
Altitude (masl) : 1550m
Harvest Method : Handpicking

Danny is one of the seven brothers in the famous specialty coffee family, the Morenos. He and his brothers followed in their father’s foot steps into coffee farming. The brothers have since then really showed their dedication, resourcefulness and passion. Within the first few years of turning their business to specialty coffee they reached the fourth place in the prestigious Cup of Excellence competition. After that they have consistently been within the top ten contestants. In the recent years their somewhat coffee dynasty has grown with the new generation joining in to the family business.

It takes a unique kind of people to come from a humble background and make coffee cultivation a sustainable business for your family. It is not typically smallholder producers with family histories of small-scale agriculture that are the most successful coffee farmers and this is because it is incredibly challenging to first, consistently cultivate and produce the highest quality coffee and have access to a loyal customer base, and then on top of this, have the education and knowledge to speak quality at the same level as the buyer. The Morenos are in this extraordinary category of coffee producers. Their sustained top position is a result of a mixture of ambition, long-term planning, understanding what their market is looking for, and constant reevaluation and tweaking of agronomic, harvesting and processing techniques.

The family members work very closely together. Each one running their own farms and collectively owning their wet mill. All of the lots have unique processing methods and thus unique cupping notes.

Santa Barbara region

Santa Barbara is one of the biggest coffee producing regions and also the birthplace of most characteristic coffees in Honduras. In fact you can find several producers from this region every year on the list of the Cup of Excellence award winner farms.

It is challenging to process coffee in areas like these, which are close to the jungle and thus, to rain. In addition at high altitudes the temperatures can drop to 4-5°C adding the risk of freezing and the steep slopes make it difficult to pick the cherries. These risks can be minimised by ingenious drying processes and when these processes are precisely controlled, the seemingly problematic factors are in fact what make coffee from this area particularly interesting. As a result the coffee produced here cups with flavour attributes not found anywhere else in Central America.

Hunda Oli – Ethiopia

FLAVOR NOTES:
TANGERINE SODA, FLORAL, SWEET APPLE, STRAWBERRY

Co-Operative : Hunda Oli
Owners : more than 180 smallholders
Varieties : Limu Heirlooms

Process : Washed
Region : Limu, Oromia Region
Altitude (masl) : 1990-2250
Harvest Method : Handpicking

Hunda Oli is a farmers’ co-operative in the wild forests of Agaro, Limu in the Oromia region of western Ethiopia – “the birthplace of coffee”. Here the coffees grow around 2000 meters above sea level in the shades of indigenous, old-growth forests. Typically one farmer has a lot of a 1 hectare. With this small farm sizes co-operatives are especially valuable in helping to bring coffee to the market.

The almost 200 farmers selectively hand pick shade-grown coffees of various local heirloom varieties and deliver them to the co-op’s wet mill. Before pulping the coffee cherries are carefully sorted and all the over-ripe and immature cherries are discarded. Because of a water and labor saving mechanical demucilager there is no need for fermentation.  After this coffee spends around  7-14 days on drying tables until it reaches the target moisture content.

Hunda Oli and TechnoServe

The Hunda Oli Co-op was established under a Coffee Initiative by an NGO called TechnoServe. TechnoServe works with development initiatives and mostly with agro-businesses utilising natural resources and human potential, such as coffee.

TechnoServe started the Coffee Initiative in Ethiopia in 2008 by the help of an investment from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They trained coffee farming households to improve their productivity through a curriculum of modules on agronomic best practices.

Through this program 139 609 farmers received training that helped them better their farming techniques which resulted in better quality of the coffee and thus increased the farmers’ yields by an average of 38%. These increased profits are bettering the lives of the whole community. For example Hunda Oli Co-op has committed to invest a portion of their profits back into the community and to date they have installed water supply systems supplying more than 400 households.

La Loma – Costa Rica

FLAVOR NOTES:
RIPE BERRIES, RAW CACAO, WHITE ALMOND, BROWN SUGAR

Farm : La Loma
Owner : Hector Bonilla
Varieties : Red Catuai

Process : White Honey
Region : San Francisco de Leon Cortes, Tarrazú
Altitude (masl) : 1850
Harvest Method : Handpicking

The father and son team of Hector and Pablo Bonilla are the owners of the La Loma farm as well as the well-known and widely recognised Don Mayo micro-mill. La Loma farm sits at 1800 meters above sea level in the Tarrazu region, famous for it’s high quality specialty coffees and breathtakingly beautiful scenery.

The Bonillas have been producing some of the finest coffees in Costa Rica for several years. They also process coffee cherries from several neighbouring farms on their mill and were behind the producing of the CoE winning lot of 2009.

Hector Bonilla founded the Don Mayo Coffee Mill in 1994. Before this Mr Bonilla was the general manager of Cooperativa de Caficultores de Llano Bonito R.L. While working for the co-op he, amongst other things, incorporated the “Fair Trade” market and the beginning of direct sales of the cooperative’s coffee to European and North American clients.

The family is very much involved in all the aspects of their business and caring of the coffee trees. They oversee every aspect of plantation management. Including pruning, fertilising and cleaning of the plantations and also participate in the milling process, in order to assure a quality product.

The Bonillas use agricultural practices taken from research-based evidence; interventions that include best practice of soil treatments, shade organisation and coffee varieties. These practices are based primarily on the use of varieties of coffee that have been proven to best match the agroecology of the farms, soil maintenance without the use of agrochemicals and the use of the controlled shade to incorporate organic matter into soil.

Tarrazu Area

Tarrazú region has two well-defined seasons – rainy and dry, which is ideal for growing coffee. Because of distinctive seasons the coffee cherries grow surprisingly uniform in ripeness. The rainy season lasts for seven months starting in May and continuing all the way to November. During this time the coffee plants are growing. Harvest time runs from November to March and therefore coincides nicely with the dry season. In addition the characteristic sedimentary soil composition of the land results in coffees that  have distinctively acidic qualities.