The average altitude in the La Paz region of Honduras is around 1,300 – 1,500 masl (meters above sea level), which makes for exquisite coffee growing. Flavor profiles at this elevation tend to swing more chocolatey and spicier, and avid coffee lovers can expect to find notes of wine and vanilla in their brew. La Paz also enjoys favorable rainfall and warm temperatures during harvest season, which goes from December until April. Café Organico Marcala, S.A. (or COMSA) is taking the best of Marcala and making it better, both for the Earth and its people.
Making the transition from conventional—or non-organic—to organic farming is no easy task, but 62 Honduran farmers banded together in 2000 to do just that. A year later, Bio Latino granted COMSA their organic certification, and thus, opened up many new doors for the organization. This includes access to markets to which they wouldn’t otherwise have access, premium pricing, eligibility for grants and financial assistance, among many other things.
Being able to fetch better prices for their coffee added increased stability to COMSA’s operation, which was only strengthened by the Fair Trade certification status they were granted in 2006. This ensures fair financial compensation for their coffee, with a minimum Fair Trade market price plus up to a 20¢ premium per pound. COMSA uses this money to fund social projects, supplement teachers’ salaries, and purchase school supplies. The excellence of COMSA’s coffee is rewarded and reinvested in its community’s future.
Good for Coffee, Good for People
Interestingly, COMSA isn’t your typical coffee producer. How not? Two words: La Fortaleza. This is an experimental farm where COMSA hosts workshops and promotes positive open-mindedness to help farmers become better people. COMSA believes societal change starts with personal change, so farmers work with agronomists and social workers to learn about “the interconnectedness of our world […] and the role we can play in creating a future we believe in.”
Washing and Drying
The Organic Honduran Marcala we receive from COMSA is fully washed and mechanically dried. Fully washed is typical of high-quality coffee. Washed coffee is all about the seed, not the cherry. Most specialty coffees are washed because this process gives the most true-to-origin experience, as the mucilage can impart syrupy flavors if left intact during processing. Mechanical dryers function a lot like coffee roaster cooling trays, in that they utilize a rotating arm that turns the coffee continuously.
Fresh Roasted Coffee
Because this coffee comes from such a high elevation, we medium roast it to maintain its origin notes. Our fair trade, organic Honduran Marcala coffee highlights the nutty and bright complexities that make coffee beans from Honduras so excellent. With additional flavor notes of milk chocolate, you get a smooth and sugary-sweet body with an acidic lemon wedge finish.
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