About this Coffee
The blend is one of the 5 branded blends from Cooperativa Cafetalera Siguatepeque Limitada (COHORSIL). The name is inspired by Cerro Azul Meambar National Park. The park is beloved for its cloud forests, a unique kind of rainforest that is consistently covered in thick mists and clouds.
The Cooperativa Cafetalera Siguatepeque Limitada, or COHORSIL, was founded in 1980 in Siguatepeque, a town in the Montecillos mountain range. The 12 founding members originally sold agricultural supplies, but they soon saw the need for a credit system and more technical assistance for farmers.
COHORSIL has been exporting member coffees since 2000. Their operations continue to expand to address the needs of smallholder farmers in Honduras. Technical staff are spread across their members’ regions to help provide the best support possible. Today, the cooperative provides loans, sustainability training, technical support and agricultural services to its more than 580 members.
Strictly High Grown (SHG) specifies the altitude at which the coffee was grown. A coffee must be grown at 1,200 meters above sea level or higher to be considered SHG. The higher altitude and lower temperatures mean that the coffee fruit matures more slowly, creating a denser bean.
European Preparation or EP
EP stands for European Preparation. EP beans are Screen 15+ with a low defect tolerance.
Harvest and Processing
Cooperative members selectively handpick cherry and deliver it to one of COHORSIL’s four central wet mills. COHORSIL intentionally designed the wet mills to have similar layouts to ensure that processing can be consistent between locations. At intake, the mills float cherry to remove any lights or damaged cherry. They use recycled water to reduce overall water use.
After pulping, coffee ferments for 18 hours and is then washed in a demucilager, an eco-machine that reduces water use. Then, parchment is density sorted a second time in grading channels. As the beans flow through, wooden bars that are laid across the canal prevent beans of specific densities from passing through. These bars are spaced across the channel. While the first blockade stops the most-dense beans, the next is arranged to stop the second most-dense beans and so on. Parchment is dried in the sun and then transported to a centralized mill in Siguatepeque where it dries for 72 hours on rotating horizontal dryers called guardiolas. In keeping with their environmental focus, the guardiolas are powered by furnaces that burn recycled coffee parchment. Once dry, the parchment remains in a warehouse in Siguatepeque until it is milled at COHORSIL’s dry mill in the city. In addition to serving as COHORSIL’s base of operations, Siguatepeque’s mild weather conditions are ideal for resting parchment. The
cooperative’s quality team cups all coffees in their fully equipped cupping lab to ensure consistent quality.
Coffee in Honduras
Honduras is a small yet mighty coffee producer. The country boasts the largest per capita coffee
production in the world. Beginning in 2017, Honduras began placing in third place for Arabica production volume globally. For this slot, they compete with Ethiopia—a country 10 times larger than Honduras. The two countries trade between third and fourth place annually, but the achievement is impressive, nonetheless. Honduras has everything it needs to become a premier specialty coffee producer. The country has the right growing conditions, abundant fertile soils
and soaring altitudes (nearly all farms are at more than 1,000 meters above sea level), plus a variety of microclimates.
Beginning in the early 2000s the industry began to focus on quality. Improved infrastructure (better mechanical dryers, centralized wet mills, an increasing number of solar dryers), quality control/assurance trainings (separating lots by qualities, cupping schools, etc.), the rise of specialty-focused exporters, increased volumes of certified coffees and the strengthening cooperative movement all have worked in tandem to make Honduran coffee ‘one to watch’. It is only in more recent years that coffee production in Honduras has reached specialty levels comparable to other Central American countries, but specialty roasters are responding with enthusiasm.