This is one of two coffees we bought from Maria through one of our import partners Falcon. The story behind Maria Martinez's coffee growing journey and the coffees themselves make these coffees particularly special releases for us. Before we go into detail about Maria and her coffee journey we want to give a little information about the varietal as it really adds context as to why this coffee is special. Catimor is technically a cultivar rather than a variety, that is to say a "cultivated variety" rather than a "naturally occurring one", this particular cultivar is the result of crossing Caturra with Timor Hybrid (the first successful hybrid of Arabica and Robusta). Because of its ties to Robusta it is generally seen as an inferior varietal, one grown for climate resistance, high yield and easy growing nature. It is not known for producing tasty coffee, that's why we were so excited when we tasted these two lots and liked them so much. Simply put these are the best Catimors we've ever tasted. This one is jammy, sweet, and heavy, for us Blackberry Crumble sums it up, reduced stewed blackberries and Demerara sugar.
Maria Genoveva Martinez owns the farm Las Casitas in the Agua Caliente area of Corquin, Copan. The farm is less than one hectare of land, but is planted with Caturra and IHCAFE90, all of which is maintained under the natural forest. Maria left Honduras a number of years ago to live in the USA, in search of a better life, but never felt integrated into society there and so decided to return to Honduras and start producing coffee, which she has done for the last 15 years. Since she doesn't have much land production will never be sufficient to make a living from coffee selling through commercial routes, therefore she has decided to focus entirely on quality and maximise her earnings through investment in quality coffee production, and Maria has been assisted in this by Falcon and Aruco. Maria's coffees have improved over the three years we have been buying from her and have gotten more and more complex. With the increased income generated from microlot sales Maria has been able to regenerate areas of her farm and improve her living conditions.
The producers will receive about 70% of the FOB price for their micro lots. This year the harvest for all producers was extremely difficult with increased rains during the harvest and a lack of pickers meaning a large amount of coffee was lost from either falling to the ground or swelling and splitting on the tree.
All the processing for the ML’s takes place at the Aruco mill to centralise and have greater control over the process to create consistent procedures but also to reduce the risk on the producer. The mill is also at 800masl which gives a drier more stable climate to dry the coffee compared to up at the farms where the weather can be less predictable.
The coffee will be delivered to the mill where they assess the cherry (take Brix) and decide on the process for the coffees depending on space and what the producer has done already. The cherry is cleaned and washed and then floated to remove any immatures.
The coffee is then taken to the beds where it is dried for between 20 -30 days weather depending where it is turned hourly.