Honduras – Liquidambar

The joy of working directly with a farmer is great. The joy of working directly with a great farmer is tremendous. Our relationship with Reina Mercedes Claros Bautista has taught us the simple beauty of farming great coffee: in this case the lush, vibrant, competition-winning, peach-necatar-sweet coffee we know as Finca Liquidambar.

Doña Reina Mercedes Claros Bautista is rather famous in Western Honduras. Dallis Bros. Coffee has had the pleasure of attending both the 2010 and 2011 Cup of Excellence events in Honduras, and were afforded the opportunity to ask Reina Mercedes Claros Bautista how her coffee is so consistent every year.  She explained simply: it starts with good picking. You have to watch your workers to make sure they only pick ripe cherries. From there, coffee is brought to the wet mill and de-pulped the same day, then allowed to ferment for a 12-hour period before it is washed. Bautista actually manages two different farms, which she keeps fully separate: Finca El Durazno and Finca Liquidambar. She also personally manages the drying of the coffee on her own patio. As coffees are drying, she keeps all the coffee of the same moisture contents together. “Remember,” she says.  “I don’t mix coffees together.”

When talking with her, Reina’s tone is humble. When drinking her coffee it is brilliant. She grows 70% Red Catuai and 30% Yellow Catuai on her farm near San Juan in Intibuca Honduras. We were proud to tell her that her coffee was part of a 50% blend of Philip Search’s winning espresso in the 2011 Northeast Regional Barista Competition in New York City. She was moved to hear this good news. This is the second year in a row that we are able to offer her coffee direct from her farm. We hope to continue this into the future.