Organic Honduras Opalaca SHG
In the cup, this coffee has a lot of chocolate and red fruit notes with moderate acidity and a smooth and round body and caramel sweetness making it great as espresso on its own.
We roast this to a light/medium espresso roast which also works well in a moccamaster, Aeropress as well as through an espresso machine.
SUB REGION, REGION: Opalaca
PRODUCER: Many small lot holders
VARIETY / CULTIVAR: Lempira, Catuai, Bourbon
PROCESSING & FERMENTATION: Fully Washed
ALTITUDE: 1250 - 1700
Importers Cup score: 84
Honduras is a small yet mighty coffee producer. The country boasts the largest per capita coffee production in the world. Beginning in 2017, Honduras began placing in third place for Arabica production volume globally. For this slot, they compete with Ethiopia— a country 10 times larger than Honduras. The two countries trade between third and fourth place annually, but the achievement is impressive, nonetheless.
Honduras has everything it needs to become a premier specialty coffee producer. The country has the right growing conditions, abundant fertile soils and soaring altitudes (nearly all farms are at more than 1,000 meters above sea level), plus a variety of microclimates.
Beginning in the early 2000s the industry began to focus on quality. Improved infrastructure (better mechanical dryers, centralized wet mills, an increasing number of solar dryers), quality control/assurance trainings (separating lots by qualities, cupping schools, etc.), the rise of specialty-focused exporters, increased volumes of certified coffees and the strengthening cooperative movement all have worked in tandem to make Honduran coffee ‘one to watch’.
Beneficio Santa Rosa is an exporter and dry mill, located in Santa Rosa de Copán. Santa Rosa services organised producer groups, cooperatives, producer associations and large as well as small independent producers in the region. The mill receives coffee in parchment form, either wet or (partially) dried. Its main job is to prepare the coffee to export standards. Santa Rosa makes sure the coffee meets the international standards in terms of moisture content, grade, and hence cup quality. The role of a dry mill in the production of quality is not often highlighted.
At Beneficio Santa Rosa, trucks arrive daily with the coffee from its various suppliers. The lot receives a traceability tag so it can be followed and identified all along the processing chain. The quality team at the mill evaluates a sample of the lot and determines the price in correspondence with the quality. Beneficio Santa Rosa produces certified coffees, conventional qualities (SHG, HG) and specialty grade micro-lots. Each category has a different price premium. Beneficio Santa Rosa has various certifications to guarantee its commitment to the environment and the community. The mill is certified by RFA, FT, Organic, UTZ, Cafe Practices and Bird Friendly certification bodies.
This coffee from Opalaca is produced by a specific group of farmers who are part of the Beneficio Santa Rosa supply chain in West Honduras. The Opalaca region runs to the east of Copán and is also part of the HWC origin Honduran Western Coffees (HWC) Geographical Indication, which marks it as a notable origin (much like Mexican tequila or Roquefort cheese). It includes much of Santa Barbara, Intibucá, and Lempira. Common varieties here include Bourbon, Catuai, and Typica.
The producers were selected based on the consistently high quality of their deliveries. Beneficio Santa Rosa supports growers with training in farm management and assistance with certification. Organic fertilisers and integrated pest management were utilised in farming practices. This allows them to sell their coffee with an added value above the commercial pricing level which is a significant difference in the current coffee market in Honduras.