Farm: Finca El Octillo
Varietal: 100% IHCAFE90
Processing: Fully washed
Altitude: 1,800 metres above sea level
Owner: Rigoberto Sanchez
Town / City: San Jose Intibuca Intibuca
Region: Cordillera Montecillos
Finca El Octillio - Honduras
Rigoberto Sanchez hails from the community of San Jose in Intibuca, Honduras. He has been growing coffee for more than two decades on his small farm of 4.2 hectares which he has named ‘El Ocotillo’ (a local cactus-like tree with clusters of flowers at the top).
Rigoberto is committed to making a minimal impact on his environment. This is why he chooses to farm organically (even though he is not currently certified), using only organically made fertilisers and pesticides. His farm is small but well-situated for high-quality coffee production. At 1,600 to 1,800 metres above sea level, the natural conditions are ideal, and he also relies on the advice and technical assistance provided by the Instituto Hondureño de Cafe (IHCAFE) in order to ensure his plants remain happy, healthy and productive.
With the help of ICAFE, Rigoberto has also learned how to prepare coffee micro lots (giving him greater control over quality) and to build solar dryers (domos). These measures have had a great impact on the quality of his coffee.
Processing is central to Rigoberto’s approach to quality. During the harvest he makes sure that the coffee is selectively hand harvested, with only the ripest cherries being picked at each pass. After picking, the coffee is delivered to the farm’s small wet mill, where it is pulped on the same day it is picked. After pulping, the coffee is fermented and then washed in clean water.
After it is fully washed, the coffee is moved to screen-lined wooden beds that are stacked within solar driers (domos) – greenhouse-like structures constructed of wood and covered with UV-protective treated plastic. The solar dryer is constructed so as to allow maximum ventilation, which regulates temperature and prevents the drying pergamino from overheating.
Rigoberto relies on his family to help conduct almost all the work on his farm. His wife and four children are crucial to helping him make the farm the best it can be. With their help, he wants to continue improving the quality of his coffee and hopes to reach ever more customers around the world.