Introduction by Chris Kornman
Andrés López Lorenzo produced this micro-lot on a four-acre plot in the Santa Elena growing region of Honduras’ La Paz Department, just a few short miles from the Salvadoran border to the south. He and his wife Maria are raising four children, and the family relies on their annual coffee harvest as the main source of income. Andrés plans to reinvest the profits from this season’s harvest in his family’s store and build a drip irrigation system for the vegetable garden.
For those of you who may not be familiar, the Catracha Coffee Company was founded by Mayra Orellana-Powell in 2010, and is dedicated to improving the life quality of its members by increasing quality and yield, providing educational seminars, and directing transparent financial transactions that return 100% of the profits from sold, exported green coffee to the farmers.
Mayra is a native of Santa Elena, and just recently returned to the area after a stint in California’s Bay Area. She also works as Royal’s Marketing and Outreach Director, and while she’ll be missed around the office here in Emeryville, we’re excited to see her continue the incredible work she’s doing in Honduras. The coffee from Andrés López Lorenzo is an excellent example of the exemplary work undertaken by the Catracha Coffee Company and the dedicated farming community of Santa Elena.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
Another ultra-dense coffee from the Catracha project, this coffee also shares similar moisture figures with our previous Crown Jewel from Fidelina Peréz. However, Andres López Lorenzo has produced a coffee with a little wider and smaller screen size distribution.
Bourbon, one of Arabica’s two commonly grown heirloom varieties (Typica is the other), traces its history back to the island that was once its namesake, now a French department known as Réunion, off the coast of the African continent East off the much larger island of Madagascar. It was once the most commonly grown Arabica variety in the Americas, and while still fairly common, it has been outpaced en masse with higher-yielding, more disease resistant trees. The high quality of the Bourbon cultivar is frequently identified by its citric acidity.
Catuaí is a dwarf variety with copious proliferation throughout the Americas. Originating from a hybridization of Caturra and Mundo Novo in Brazil, the coffee is resistant to wind and rain, relatively high yielding, can be planted more closely together than larger cultivars, and requires some precision in fertilization.
Roast Analysis by Chris Kornman
Since I had some success roasting a relatively short curve with the coffee from Fidelina Peréz two weeks ago, I decided to see how short was too short with Andrés López Lorenzo’s lot. While some of our recent Ethiopian coffees, for example, have really done quite well at very short (sub 8 minute) roasts, this Honduran coffee did not respond as well to the hyper-short, hot and fast style (PR-0306). Our notes included more savory and vegetal notes, and we much preferred the second roast (PR-0307) that took a more delayed and incremental approach to heat increases. The take away here is that the coffee needs some energy as it approaches first crack, but not too much too soon.
Brew Analysis by Evan Gilman
While we definitely preferred the second roast on the cupping table, our Friday Chemex brewing session was happy with the results from both roasts of this coffee.
The first roast (PR-306) was clearly simpler, with chocolate notes dominating, and a clean finish that kept us coming back for more sips. Though lacking in some body, the clean finish was very redeeming for this particular roast. Looking at the numbers it was a less soluble coffee, a slightly tougher customer than PR-307.
The second roast was significantly juicier, with all of us noting juiciness independently. Unexpectedly, it was also quite a bit fruitier. Cherry and peach came through to a couple of us, along with some more ethereal cola and honey notes. This is a very pleasant and “chuggable” coffee, one suitable for a single origin brew or espresso.
Take a look at our notes below for a more detailed look at our brewing experience!