This lot from Esdras is completely organic with very little intervention to the plants. Producing coffee in this manner is a very interesting experiment, and one we are very excited about continuing to follow. In the cup we find a very balanced profile of stone fruit and honey, with a subtle acidity.
60% Catuai, 30% Yellow Catuai, 10% Bourbon
Lempira, Santa Barbára
Hand picked at peak ripeness. Floated to further remove defects. Depulped. Dry fermented for 22 hours. Washed. Dried for seven to nine days.
This is one of the more inspiring farms we've seen in a while. Within coffee, we continue to see more and more reliance on synthetic inputs, as well as pesticides and herbicides. It is truly remarkable that Esdras has succeeded in producing this kind of quality of coffee with virtually no intervention to the plants themselves, and even more impressive given that he is growing non-hybrid, non-resistant varieties. Esdras is a third-generation coffee producer, and was given a very small lot by his father about 20 years ago. In his own words, improving his quality and moving into the specialty market has, "changed me and my family's expectations and hopes to improve our lives".
Catuai is from the Typica-Bourbon lineage. It is a cross between Mundo Novo and Caturra. This variety type is high yielding in comparison to the traditional Bourbon variety. Because of its smaller size the plants can be more closely spaced, meaning it can be planted at nearly double the density while maintaining high cup quality. This characteristic makes it a very good option for producers.
Bourbon is the most famous of the Bourbon-descended varieties. It is a tall variety characterized by relatively low production and excellent cup quality, but is susceptible to all the major coffee plant diseases. In the early 1700’s French missionaries carried Bourbon from Yemen to Bourbon Island (now Réunion), giving it the name it has today. The variety spread to other parts of the world beginning in the mid-1800’s as the missionaries moved to establish footholds in Africa and the Americas. Today, in Latin America, Bourbon has largely been replaced by varieties that descend from it—notably Caturra, Pacas, Catuai, and Mundo Novo—although Bourbon itself it is still cultivated in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru.
The cost of getting a coffee from cherry to beverage varies enormously depending on its place of origin and the location of its consumption. The inclusion of price transparency is a starting point to inform broader conversation around the true costs of production and the sustainability of specialty coffee as a whole.