Organic Apex Eraldo Garcia Honduras MicrolotHigher Grounds Trading
Region: Cabañas, La Paz, Honduras
Flavors: blueberry * molasses * orange blossom
Elevation: 1600 meters
Best brewing: filter
Recommended ratio: 16:1
The COMSA Cooperative
Finca El Maguey is located in the community of El Tablón, Cabañas. This farm owes its peculiar name to the maguey plants, which are abundant in the area, and which were used by the indigenous ancestors of the land as thatched roofing for their houses. In the year 2010, Eraldo decided to plant 2,000 coffee trees of the Icatú varietal, taking advantage of the bountiful natural water sources in the area during the rainy winter season.
Overall, Eraldo has over 9000 coffee trees. A third generation coffee farmer, he learned coffee production from his father, who shared much of his passion for coffee and farm techniques with his son. Eraldo has been a member of COMSA since 2012 and currently serves as the manager of quality control at COMSA’s wet mill. In his time with COMSA, Eraldo says, he has “been able to learn much about organic agriculture, from microbiological fertilizer to special preparation, to COMSA’s philosophy and lifestyle [of] ‘La Finca Humana’ (Human Farm). As a member of COMSA, I am commited to excellence, which allows me to improve quality, productivity and care for the land.”
At Finca El Maguey, the process begins with harvesting cherries at optimal ripeness. Further sorting is conducted to ensure no damaged beans are used in the natural-processed lots. The cherries are then carefully transferred to Eraldo’s solar dryer. The coffee is turned every ten minutes for the first four days of drying and every half hour after that--a labor of love! If the weather permits, the whole process will take up to 20 days in order for the coffee to reach 12% moisture, and then it’s ready to be handed over to COMSA for final milling and export.
“Following harvesting, the coffee is wet milled. All the water and pulp that result as a byproduct of the process gets re-incorporated into the soils as prescribed by the technical advice of COMSA’s agronomists. Finally, the coffee gets sundried in patios. This whole process involves the collaboration and hired labour of local Marcalans that with time-developed experience and care, allows for a strictly high quality coffee.”