Your Coffee Subscription – February 2023

Dear coffee subscriber,

This month we are pleased to be able to send out some very rare coffees to all of you. Both an SL28 cultivar that is grown in Honduras along with a very fruity Ihcafe 90 (Catimor) cultivar, both produced by our friend Jobneel Caceres Dios.

If you subscribe to 3 bags or more we are sending out a few different coffees to you. This is because last year we bought some special lots of coffee in small quantities from a few of the producers we buy from. Because there is not enough to send out to all of you, we will be randomising the coffees we send out for the 3rd and 6th bag this month. I hope you will enjoy tasting the diversity of these coffees and highly recommend tasting them side by side if you have the opportunity to do that.

Nacimiento SL28 (1st & 4th bag)

Flavour notes:  Cherry, chocolate & red berries
Producer: Jobneel Caceres Dios
Harvest: March – April 2022
Origin: El Cielito, Santa Barbara, Honduras
Process: Washed
Cultivar: SL28

This is the fifth harvest of Jobneel’s new SL28 variety. SL28 is a variety that is commonly grown only in Kenya and parts of East Africa but we managed to source some seeds in Central America and planted seeds with Jobneel in 2014. In 2015 Jobneel transplanted the seedlings to virgin land on top of his farm at the very highest altitude and a few years later we started to see the first cherries appearing on the trees.

In the first production years the yields were very low so we only bought a tiny amount. In 2022 we managed to get a larger amount as the trees were producing more coffee. Unfortunately the coffee from the 2022 harvest is not as intense as the one from the 2021 harvest which was a great year for this cultivar. We believe this is due to the challenging growing conditions in Santa Barbara in the 2021/22 season. Having said that, I would not buy the coffee if I did not believe it is of good quality. I still find it to be very sweet and clean yet with a more subtle intensity of flavours than previous seasons.

We have to remember that coffee is a natural product. The growing conditions will change and affect the quality every year, just like with wine where every vintage will be slightly different in quality. The coffees from Nacimiento are always produced with a lot of attention to detail, love and care, which means the end result will always be of good quality. So if you had the SL28 from Nacimiento last year, don’t expect this coffee to have the same intensity, but rather enjoy the more subtle fruity flavours, the juicy mouthfeel and the slight more chocolaty character it has this year.

Cielito Lindo (2nd & 5th bag)

Flavour notes: Winey, forest berries & herbal
Producer: Jobneel Caceres Dios
Harvest: March – April 2022
Origin: El Cielito, Santa Barbara, Honduras
Process: Washed
Cultivar: Ihcafe 90

Cielito Lindo is a small parcel of land owned by Extreberto Caceres Gutierrez, who is the father of Jobneel Caceres Dios, the owner of Finca Nacimiento.

Both farms are situated at the top of the El Cielito branch of the Santa Barbara mountain in Honduras where Cielito Lindo is at the very top of the mountain just below a forest reserve. The high altitude and moist, cool climate make this one of the most unique areas for growing coffees in Honduras.

As Cielito Lindo is situated at the very top of this mountain it has become hard for Extreberto to take care of his own farm as he is now well above 80 years old. The only way to enter the farm is by walking up extremely steep trails and the only way to get the coffee down is by using donkeys to carry the bags of coffee down the hills. For this reason Jobneel is now taking care of the hard work on the farm while Extreberto is helping out with other tasks like drying and sorting the coffees.

You might not know that we actually bought coffee from Extreberto way back in 2008 at the Cup of Excellence. I really loved his fruity coffee and was shocked when I found out that it came from a Catimor cultivar, the Ihcafe 90. I liked the coffee so much that I decided to visit the farm in 2009 to see if we could start buying directly from Extreberto. The intention was to visit Extreberto but I was met by his son Jobneel instead and that was the start of a long relationship and the work we have done together over the last decade. (read more about that here.)

We normally don’t get our hands on the coffee from Cielito Lindo for two reasons. Extreberto likes to submit his coffee to the Cup of Excellence which has resulted in many good placements in the competition and also great prices. The coffee is normally harvested really late in the year due to the high altitude and slow ripening and we normally have shipped our coffees from Nacimiento by the time the coffees from Cielito Lindo are dried and ready for export. Due to a slight change in harvest cycles we managed to buy a lot from Cielito Lindo last year and are really happy to be able to roast and offer this unique coffee once again

Finca El Vikingo (3rd or 6th bag)

Flavour notes: Delicate, floral, tea & citrus
Producer: Jobneel Caceres Dios
Harvest: March – April 2022
Origin: El Sauce, Santa Barbara, Honduras
Process: Washed
Cultivar: Geisha

A few years ago Jobneel bought a small piece of land in another area not too far away from his first farm, Finca Nacimiento. He wanted to plant more coffee and also to plant some rare cultivars. This year was the first year he was able to produce some Geisha coffee which means you are getting the very first picking from these new Geisha trees.

Although it is not as expressive as the Geisha coffees from the Caballero family that we sent out in January, this is still a promising coffee with delicate and subtle floral and citric flavours, and from experience the quality will improve when the trees grow older. We already roasted two test batches of the coffee and that means we only have 60 kilos left to send out to some of you. Hopefully we will get some more of this Geisha in the upcoming harvest.

Los Pirineos Sudan Rumé (3rd or 6th bag)

Flavour notes: Herbal, tangerine & spices
Producer: Fabiola & Diego Baraona
Harvest: February 2022
Origin: Tecapa-Chinameca, Usulutan, El Salvador
Process: Semi-washed
Cultivar: Sudan Rumé

Sudan Rumé is a rare cultivar that has been used to win the World Barista Championship by Sasa Sestic. I have tasted this cultivar a few times from Los Pirineos, but this is the first time we have been able to buy a small quantity of this coffee from this farm.

Although the coffee has a chocolatey flavour profile like most coffees from Los Pirineos, it still has a very distinct spicy and tangerine like flavour with hints of citrus peel and herbs. I hope you will find it as interesting as I do.

Caballero Batian (3rd or 6th bag)

Flavour notes: Citric, red berries & herbs
Producer: Marysabel Caballero & Moises Herrera
Harvest: February 2022
Origin: Chinacla, la Paz, Honduras
Process: Washed
Cultivar: Batian

Batian is actually a Kenyan hybrid cultivar, but this particular coffee was grown in Honduras by our friends Marysabel Caballero and Moises Herrera. They have only planted a small amount of these trees and we are fortunate to be able to buy their entire production of this cultivar.

This is the fourth year we are able to offer a small amount of this coffee and I believe it is tasting better this year than the previous years. I find the 2022 lot to have a more citric flavours and still with a delicate floral flavour, berry notes and a herbal finish. It is a very interesting coffee that has many layers of flavours to offer. I love tasting it next to other coffees from various origins as the flavour perception changes every time I come back to this Batian.

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