Just some quick field notes here from our most recent origin trip, destination: La Paz, Honduras.
On last year’s trip passing through the same area, Alex and I had the good fortune of being introduced to a young couple, Nancy and Arturo Contreras. Over the past year we have remained in touch, connecting with my high school Spanish, Skype, and over a stiff coffee crawl at last year’s SCAA show in Seattle. This year I bought a ticket to spend a week with them, cupping coffee, roasting coffee, meeting with their friends and local producers in the growing regions surrounding and unified by Marcala, and just generally falling in love with the place and its people all over again, even more.
The trip framed itself around the first day’s cupping, when from 30 samples I selected six stand-out favorites. Over the next five days Nancy and Arturo introduced me to the men and women who had grown and processed these coffees. And in between, overladen with the excessive warmth, generosity and communal hospitality, there were such studded gems as being allowed to roast two batches of amazing coffee at Aroma Café, as being granted full access to Denominacion de Origen's coffee lab and sample roasting equipment, as gorgeous hikes to stunning waterfalls with no name, as being lent a Toyota pick-up truck to drive to one of my favorite farms from last year’s visit, and as of being asked to lead a class and demonstration on various filter coffee methods as part of a three-day event hosted by the Denominación de Origen.
We have been posting and will continue to share photos that celebrate some of these rare moments, all of which continue to remind me of the richly rewarding and inexhaustibly powerful experience that is the world of specialty coffee and its devoted participants. It is our sincerest hope that we may share a little of that rare magic with you and, get ready: because we’re in the process of buying some very, very special little beans from some seriously awesome people.