Farm: Finca Los Lirios
Varietal: 100% IHCAFE 90
Processing: Fully washed & dried on African beds
Altitude: 1,650 metres above sea level
Owner: Esau Ferrara Paz
Finca Los Lirios - Honduras
Finca Los Lirios was founded by Esau Ferrara Paz and his brother in 2010. They had, at the time, been working on construction projects in the region, and they fell in love with the area. They decided they wanted to begin cultivating a small farm and to spend the rest of their lives in the beautiful Comayagua region; however they had a long road ahead as they had no legal title to the land they had identified as a potential coffee farm. They got in touch with the Instituto Hondureño de Cafe (IHCAFE), who helped them traverse Honduras’s complicated land ownership system and gave them financing to sow their first two manzanas (1.3 hectares) of land under coffee. They named the farm ‘Los Lirios’ (The Lilies) for the flowers which abound in the area.
ICAFE has been hugely helpful in making Esau’s dreams a reality, in fact. They have advised on every step of establishing Los Lirios, helping him to expand the area under production to the current 4.2 hectares and giving technical assistance on all aspects of coffee cultivation, from sowing coffee saplings through to advising on which varieties to sow. ICAFE has also helped by giving classes on organic agricultural management, which has enabled the brothers to minimise their impact on the environment while saving on the cost of inputs. The farm uses only organically made fertilisers and pesticides, which has ensured continued productivity of his trees without compromising the quality of their coffee.
Processing is central to Esau’s approach to quality. During the harvest the brothers expand their work force from 3 employees to 20, and they make sure that each picker knows that coffee must be 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 for approximately 12 hours and then washed in clean water.
After it is fully washed, the coffee is moved to screen-lined African beds, where the parchment coffee will dry slowly over the course of the next 14 days or more (depending on the climate at the time). The coffee is turned regularly to ensure even drying.