This farm has been producing high-quality specialty coffee for several years, but this year made a slight change in processing. This year the lot was soaked in clean water for 12 hours, after the fermenting and washing, similar to the Kenyan style of processing. This practice is sometimes used in Honduras to give a more transparent and complex flavour profile to the coffee.
Roger Antonio Domínguez Márquez comes from a long line of coffee producers, who have been producing coffee by hand for many years. Today the family incorporates some new practices in addition to the traditional farming techniques, to maintain production levels while maintaining quality and prioritising the conservation of the native forest around them.
The farm has an abundance of plants including plums, avocados and sweet gum and is home to animals such as squirrels, rabbits and wildcats.
A protected name
The Las Acacias farm is in the sub-region of Márcala, which when it comes to coffee production, is a protected geographic name under the same classifications as you might be familiar from wine (Italy’s Chianti) and cheeses (Switzerland’s Gruyère, and Italy’s Gorgonzola and Parmigiano Reggiano).
One benefit of the protected name is that it requires full traceability of the product from farm to export: also one of the key factors in shifting from commodity farming to exporting specialty coffee such as this.
Honduras has a tropical climate, with but the rain that makes the land so lush creates problems when trying to dry the coffee beans after processing.
At Las Acacias, they’ve built covered drying beds, which are greenhouse-like structures with plastic sheets to shelter the drying coffee from the rain.
Covered drying beds at Las Acacias
You can compare this to the photos of other drying beds in Ethiopia, where rain is less of a concern.
The tropical climate can also cause problems when coffee is warehoused in hot conditions before export, something that's improving in line with the higher quality focus of the specialty side of Honduras coffee.