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Origin Information

Grower
Joaquín Suazo Nolasco | Finca La Bendición
Variety
Lempira, Parainema
Region
El Cerrón, Marcala, La Paz Department, Honduras
Harvest
December - March
Altitude
1600 masl
Soil
Clay loam
Process
Fully washed and dried on raised beds
Certifications
Fair Trade, Organic

Background Details

Joaquín Suazo Nolasco was initiated into coffee at a young age by working alongside his father, the first coffee producing generation of his family. Joaquín is proud to represent the family’s second generation, and considers himself a steward for the generation yet to come—that will be the family’s third in coffee.    Joaquín’s farm, Finca El Bendición (“the blessing”) is in a part of outer Marcala called El Cerrón, which enjoys an excellent climate for coffee, with high altitudes and strong soils. Joaquín has practiced organic farm management for a long time, taking a naturally gifted location and fortifying it further with organic fertilizers, soil conservation, and protection of local plants and animals. “At Finca La Bendición, we have a philosophy: aspire each year to improve the quality of our coffee while managing our farm responsibly, so that it’s a place to relax, breathe pure air, and observe the multitude of birds and animals that live here, enjoy the forest encircling us, and the lovely climate it affords us.”  Washed coffee at Finca El Bendición begins with careful cherry selection and same-day depulping. Fermentation is typically 24 hours, after which the parchment is washed with fresh water and dried for 6-10 days depending on the climate. This particular lot we selected is light, complex and layered with balanced brightness, deep caramel sweetness, lemon custard, and a touch of fresh thyme.  The municipality of Marcala, in Honduras’ La Paz department, is a mountainous region with pacific ocean climate influence very close to the border with El Salvador. This part of the country is extremely well respected for coffee, so much so that in 2005 the region received Honduras’ first Denominación de Origen (DO) for coffee which, similar to American Viticulture Areas (AVAs), certifies the region’s terroir and final products as being authentic, so as to protect it from adulteration or imitation. The DO designation applies to Honduras’ mountainous southwestern region and includes parts of Intibucá, La Paz, and Comayagua, although it is simply named “DO Marcala” after the town itself, considered the region’s capital of coffee heritage.  Joaquín is an associate of Café Orgánico Marcala Sociedad Anónima, or COMSA, a large and well-respected growers association based in the town of Marcala. COMSA was founded in 2001 with the equivalent of $365 USD and 61 small coffee producers, 12 women and 49 men. Today the organization has more than 1,500 associate coffee farmers covering an area of 5,800 hectares, maintains multiple certifications, and is considered one of Honduras’ model business organizations.   From the beginning COMSA has promoted organic agricultural methods and quality of coffee as fundamental values for all participating producers. This was a reaction to what the founders saw as an over-reliance on agro-toxins which threatened the longevity of family farms (often a family’s sole asset) and the physical health of the people farming one of their country’s most gifted coffee terroirs. In 2012 the group acquired their own parcel of farmland and built “Finca Biodinámica La Fortaleza” (“Biodynamic Fortress”), a demonstration farm for testing sustainable techniques, as well as designing optimal farm inputs that can be created using common by-products of coffee farming—the results of which are shared throughout COMSA’s farmer network. In recent years COMSA has begun to focus more on what they call “La Finca Humana” (the human farm): an increased consciousness within the farmer that seeks to integrate their physical and social lives with the natural environment around them using observation, investigation, analysis, reflection, and activities that connect farmers with one another and the planet.