Coffee – Honduras Altos De Erapuca
Altitude – 1360 masl
Location – Copan on the slopes of the Erapuca Mountain
Preparation – Wet processed
Variety – Catuai
Harvest – Main crop – November to February
Honduras Altos de Erapuca is a new coffee farm that was established in 2008. December 2014 was only its second harvested crop. Previously, the land had been given over to cattle but with an altitude of 1,300 to 1,360 meters above sea level, owner Carlos Refrain Paz Sevilla, recognised the land’s potential for producing great coffee. With many years’ experience in coffee, through the management of other family farms, Carlos planted the farm entirely with Catuai making the farm something of an oasis in a land of Cattimore – the varietal that has greater rust resistance but much less complexity in the cup.
The farm is located in Copan, on the slopes of Honduras’s second highest mountain – Erapuca. It’s a dramatic volcano-like mountain with its conical shape and though the slopes don’t benefit from mineral rich volcanic ash, the land is fertile with rich soils. The mountain’s peak reaches 2,255 meters above sea level. Honduras Altos de Erapuca is a big farm measuring 264 hectares. The farm includes protected rainforest but 24 hectares has been set aside for coffee growing. Carlos believes he must protect the land for future generations and has made the brave step of running the farm in compliance with organic production rules and methods. Honduras Altos de Erapuca is now both Rainforest Alliance and Organically certified.
Following careful red cherry selection by specially trained pickers, the coffee is trucked down the mountain to a wet mill called Empresa Vecinos del Trigo where it is pulped and washed in a Penagos Eco pulp drier. From there the coffee will be delivered to Aruco, a dry mill with large patios and a bank of mechanical driers also. A combination of the two is used where the coffee first goes to patio until the moisture content reaches 43%, after which is goes to the driers (Guardiolas) – which are maintained at 35 C for a period of 35 to 40 hours until the moisture content falls to 11 to 12 percent. The coffee then goes to the Santa Rosa Beneficio for parchment removal and a final defect removal (by hand or machine) before being packed in hessian sacks lined with Grain Pro and is then prepared for export.