La Labor, Octepeque
Taste Notes: Peach, Apple, Caramel, Chocolate
Roast Level: Medium
Farmer: Lurvin Ventura
Elevation: 1680 m.a.s.l.
Talk about a sweet coffee! Caramel mingles with vanilla and notes of dark chocolate sparked by orange acidity. Clean and balanced, with creamy mouthfeel and lingering panela aftertaste.
Meet the farmer
Israel Ventura is a patriarch of coffee growing in his area of Honduras. Darwin Pavon, owner of Theodore’s Coffee Roasters, describes Don Israel as a unique, quiet, thoughtful person, and very passionate about the farming side of his coffee business. In his search for coffee excellence, he is always experimenting with new cultivars, fertilizers, and processes.
That passion has led him to plant more than twelve varieties of coffee at El Playon, including this Pacas, a natural mutation of the Bourbon variety discovered in El Salvador in 1949. While retaining the best qualities of its parent, Pacas does well at high elevations, has a greater yield per plant, and is known for its sweetness, balanced acidity, and strong spice and floral notes.
Where it's grown
In the southwest corner of Honduras, hard on the borders of Guatemala and El Salvador, we find the Ocotepeque region. Here mountains are cloud-shrouded, volcanic soils lend their coffee-friendly nutrients, and temperate microclimates coax the best out of the beans.
In Ocotepeque as in the Marcala region, many of the people are of Lenca descent, contemporaries of Classic and Post-Classic Mayan cultures. The Lenca are believed to have migrated to the Honduras/El Salvador area from South America some 3000 years ago. Though their original language has been obscured, they retain many of their pre-Columbian traditions. These include Lenca pottery, a distinctive cultural marker, and agricultural practices handed down over millennia. No surprise, then, that these methods are helping to produce quality coffee in the misty mountains of southwest Honduras.