People have talked a lot in recent years, this one especially, about trying to find joy and beauty in the smaller things in your life. The things that you can control and also the things you see and are touched by every day. Coffee is one of those things for me. The excitement of finding a new roastery or a new coffee from a familiar favourite was a big part of early lockdown in my apartment. At Java Blend we’ve recently released our three featured roasts for the fall but there’s one in particular I’ve been brewing for myself more days than not. So I’d like to talk to you about a really special coffee from a beautiful place that brings me a lot of joy. The Honduras Los Ochoa.
This is our second year featuring this coffee and it is a result of our direct trade relationship with Honduran farmer Francisco “Fredy” Ochoa. Fredy is a first generation coffee producer in the municipality of Santa Lucia in Central Honduras. He has lived on his family farm for his whole life and takes great care and pride in its beauty and the quality of its produce. While he was growing up the farm was focused on agricultural products like maize, beans and other vegetables; it wasn’t until Fredy inherited a portion of the farm from his mother in 2012 that he decided to start growing coffee.
After attending workshops and training sessions with the help of a local coffee cooperative (Cooperativa Portal El Edén) Fredy had his first harvest in 2016. Today Fredy grows several coffee varietals (Lempira, Parainema and Ruiru 11) and operates his own processing facility on the property where he depulps, washes and dries his own coffee. While this is still a relatively young coffee farm Fredy is working hard on expansion. He harvested 1000 pounds more coffee this year than last. Honestly my favourite part of this whole story is that rather than use herbicides he chops the weeds on his farm three times a year by hand with a machete. Probably this is a routine practice for you more agriculturally inclined readers but, as a lily livered weak limbed city boy, I think that’s friggin badass.
Sourcing this coffee is made possible by the social enterprise Honduran Coffee Alliance. The goal of HCA is to link Honduran coffee producers with international buyers and facilitate the steps between processing and roasting. They take care of importing and exporting and provide detailed traceability reports and even marketing materials. Heck you’re seeing some of those in the photos in this article. I told you Fredy’s farm was beautiful.
Once the coffee is in our hands we develop a roast profile to highlight the sweet notes of Fredy’s product. This year we’re tasting juicy notes of citrus and cane sugar with, as one barista refers to it, big caramel energy. From there the last step is for you to order it online and have it shipped by our wholesale department or to visit or cafe to buy it from one of our baristas. Easy peasy.
I love this coffee. It’s sweet and citrusy without a lot of acidity which is what I prefer to find in a washed medium roast. I’ve been enjoying it most often in a Hario V-60 and an Aeropress but really this coffee would shine in any brew method.
I think a wonderful thing that this coffee represents is connection. The traceability in sourcing and production paints a clearer picture of the interwoven hands that bring a coffee from origin to your mug. There’s a beauty shared by Fredy’s farm and your morning coffee that showcases the power of relationships. So if you pick up a bag let us know how you’re making it and enjoying it. Someone is always looking at our Instagram account wink wink nudge nudge.