Farmers: Pompilio Archila Ramos
Origin: Los Tres Juanes, El Cielito
Varietal: Pacas, Paraneima, IHcafe
Notes: "S'mores", juniper, lychee, apple
There is so much to say about our time in Honduras. It’s definitely not going to fit in one post but, we’ll try to make a handful and show the unimaginable beauty that juxtaposes the hardships of everyday like for the majority of Hondurans. Being ushered into their home country @benjaminpaz & his brother Fidel, and into the homes of so many great coffee farmers…breaking bread (or rather, tortillas ; ) ) hearing their stories & aspirations was both humbling & inspiring. Pompilio, upon meeting him, had this energy…like an aura of stoic strength & wisdom. There was something almost mystical about his gaze & the way he stood midst the trees, leaning on his walking stick. You can tell he’s a man of immense thought, passion, & devotion. It’s these things that pulled us in & ultimately made it impossible to not to commit to his coffee. The design for this one is so much fun. Fidel & Jesse played a couple games of pool at a neighbours outdoor “pool hall” of sorts, way up in the mountains, before being invited in for an incredible lunch of Tamales & tamarindo juice. It was such an awesome experience. Pompilio hopes you enjoy his first offering with us, as do we.
BONAVENTURE COFFEE PROJECT
This year marked a very special milestone for us. With the help & initiative of Kevin Bohlan (Saint Frank), Benjamin Paz (Beneficio San Vicente & who helped build the 1st Saint Frank location), & in a kind of serendipitous way, Jared Truby of Cat & Cloud who kind of connected the dots between us & Kevin. Kevin & Ben started Bonaventure Coffee Project amidst Covid-19 to create & restore “Good Fortune” (Meaning of “Bonaventure”) to as many small producers as possible. Most of whom had their commitments fall through due to the uncertain times & so many coffee companies having to scale back spending or pivot their offering.
These farmers have already taken on increased risk for specialty buyers and at the time they should receive their payment for an entire year of work they find themselves with no buyer and no bailout. If they were to revert to selling their coffee to the conventional commodity market they would receive far less than their production cost requiring them to take on further debt due to their loss putting them at great risk of falling into a tragically common cycle of poverty.
Enter Claudio Castellanos. His father had coffee farms when he was young but, sadly he passed away when Claudio was just 9. They were forced to give everything up but years later when he was 18, he was able to buy a small parcel of Bourbon where his father grew coffee. A year later, through sheer resilience & tenacity, he sold his 1st micro-lot at 19 years old!
After chatting to Kevin & Harris about the project we committed to buying right away, before even tasting the coffee. The “WHY” was so great that, regardless what coffee was coming down the pipe, we were going to make it work. The pandemic, the storms that devastated Honduras, not to mention all the other struggles the country faces and has faced for decades, if not centuries, made it a no brainer & we couldn’t be happier signing on for a longterm relationship with such a stud of a guy in Claudio. We’re privileged for sure!
That said, let us tell you, the coffee this kid is growing is absolutely the best cup from Honduras we’ve had to date. Not only that but, this is a high elevation, cold climate Catimor, which is another surprising factoid! We were blown away at the simple yet complex finish this coffee presented.
Natividad Benitez who won 1st place in the 2005 COE and kicked off the brilliance of this entire region so this is a super special place, is the neighbouring farmer! You may have had his coffee before like the El Ocotillo from 49th that won Charles babinski used to win the USBC & 2nd at WBC. Claudios father definitely knew where to set up shop ; )
We’re so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to be a part of this amazing project & can’t say it enough.
We hope you enjoy this coffee over & over again so we can buy even more from Claudio next season!