CLOUDBERRY JAM, CHOCOLATE, CREAMY MOUTHFEEL
Farm : El Filo
Owner : Miguel Moreno
Variety : Pacas
Process : Washed
Region : Santa Barbara
Micro Region : El Cedral
Altitude (masl) : 1550m
Harvest Method : Handpicking
We at Populus met Miguel Moreno up at his farm “El Filo” surrounded by passing clouds and ripe red cherries. He kindly led us through his routines and practises in managing his lot, surrounded by lots of his son, brothers and father. “El Filo” is situated on hilltop spreading both sides of a steep mountain range. For harvesting it’s a challenge, but creates a microclimate for each of the lots due to their different exposure on sun, winds and altitude.
As a farmer Miguel Moreno represents the very idea of sustainable and open trading of which Populus is built upon. Having started from scratch, he saw the opportunities that cultivating high quality coffee could offer. Him and his brothers also created a strong relationship with the green coffee merchant Collaborative Coffee Source from early on. With devotion and hard work he and his brothers have become important figures of the specialty coffee coming from Honduras and also role models for their whole community.
The Moreno family manages a wet mill. They pulp, ferment, wash and dry their coffee on raised tables covered for protection from the unstable and humid mountain climate. Being able to control the processing of the coffee gives them a great advantage. The variety Pacas grown in the Santa Barbara area has a taste profile quite different from the typical central-american cup. It’s complexity, florality and delicate acidity is what we love it for.
Moreno family’s path to specialty coffee
Miguel’s father, Daniel Moreno – patriarch of the Moreno family – wanted to give up coffee farming 10 years ago. At this point, the sons had all moved to the US to work and earn a better living. In 2005 Moreno’s neighbour, Mr Benitez won the Honduras Cup of Excellence. He was unable to make it to the ceremony and asked Miguel to accept the prize on his behalf. This experience opened Miguel’s eyes to the world of specialty coffee. He then managed to convince his father and whole family not to give up on coffee farming but instead put great efforts in producing quality coffee. Daniel Moreno split up his farm, El Filo, into five lots, one for himself and one for each brother. Already two years later the Moreno family submitted their first coffees to the Cup of Excellence competition with Miguel’s lot placing 4th and scoring 90.6 points.
In 2010 Miguel and his brothers started looking for a buyer for all the coffee produced at El Filo. His hard work and dedication led CCS to enter into a long-term partnership with the entire Moreno family. Nowadays the brothers have bought more land at higher altitudes and decided to plant more unique varieties. The brothers still work very closely together even though all of their lots are produced separately. Due to the different microclimates on their lots and these individualised processing practices each lot cups distinctly and differently.