We’re excited to bring you our first single origin offering from Honduras (that isn’t our decaf!). Originating from the slopes of Celaque mountain, the highest peak in the country, El Armadillo is produced by Cooperativa Cafetalera Capucas Limitada (Cocafcal) – a.k.a. Capucas. This coffee is comprised of a number of varietals grown by small holders on the mountain and has been processed via an anaerobic honey fermentation. Overall, this is a delightfully balanced coffee that suits all brewing methods!
Our suppliers, DRWakefield, requested a series of microlots from Capucas in an effort to help support the bee keeping projects in the local area. The families who produce the lots that make this coffee have diversified incomes which are linked to the local environment. Celaque means ‘box of water’ in the local Lenca language, and the mountain is the source for many rivers and streams. This supports the vegetation in the area, including the growth of shade crops such as Gravilea, cedar, liquidambar, citrus fruits and native cedar.
The Capucas Cooperative works across 12 communities in the local municipalities. With 75 members, the cooperative operates community projects that benefit approximately 2,500 people.
Active members are dedicated to growing sustainable conventional, organic and Fairtrade coffees. Capucas have developed a variety of initiatives to enrich the lives of workers and the local community. They pay for a GP to treat workers for free in their local health centre. In 2016 Capucas partnered with the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) to provide a university education locally, with a virtual classroom opened in a rural part of San Pedro Copán, with UNAH providing the technical support, teachers and subject matter for the students. Capucas also has a football academy which is free to join and a virtual library for members, children and partners of the cooperative.
The coffee itself is a really pleasing cup, with an aroma and sweetness of forest fruits and raspberry – a frutti di bosco treat! As you drink it, it evolves into a wonderfully nutty, rich treat. We thought peanut butter was a fair description, with a very moreish hint of muscovado sugar. You can expect to range between this and nougat-like flavours as coffee rests and your brewing recipe settles. In terms of finish, El Armadillo is delightfully rounded, with a gentle acidity carrying that forest fruit flavour through. This is a wonderfully approachable cup and I dare say you will be brewing this often!
The coffee is harvested at its optimum ripeness and handed in at the cooperative. Here, the cherries are pulped, then the anaerobic processing takes place with the mucilage still on the seed. This process requires controlled fermentation with the depulped seed placed in a low-oxygen environment with temperatures no greater than 20°C. Following this, the coffee is dried over 25 – 32 days, weather dependent. Great care is taken to ensure the coffee dries slowly and evenly. Ultimately, this processing technique carefully constrains the fermentation process in a manner that yields delicious and repeatable results!