Dispatches: Honduras

We’ve spent the last few days winding our way through Honduras with the most kind and sweet people.

We visited with Jeovany, on his beautiful estate, Finca Baide. We cupped some of his most recently harvested coffees and hung out with his stylishly coiffed son, Danny.

We had the chance to visit with the ever charming, infinitely sweet Norma Zulema Azucena Erazo, at her beautiful Finca Zulema, in the Santa Barbara district. She had just finished her third picking of her meticulously groomed, perfectly organized farm. She was just moving the coffee to her family’s shared drying beds – we can’t wait to see how these coffees cup!

Norma took us to where her family also farms beets, cilantro, and cabbage—a farmer’s paradise high in the mountains of Honduras. We stopped by her house, where she treated us to fresh baked cookies and coffee, a much appreciated respite on what is always somewhat exhausting work. Norma is just so sweet and generous and thoughtful, it makes all the work it takes to come visit with her seem like nothing at all.

But each trip has its disappointments as well. So many producers have been devastated by coffee leaf rust, with a number of them going so far as cutting their once-beautiful, plants down to stumps and starting over. Heartbreaking.

We’ve got a few more days here in Honduras, before we head to Nicaragua. So far the trip has been a tremendous success.

Now Open: Sightglass 20th Street

It’s official! We’re pleased to introduce Sightglass 20th Street, our newest coffee bar and roastery, located at 3014 20th Street in the Mission, on the well-loved block between Florida and Alabama, next to our friends at Southern Exposure, Trick Dog, Salumeria, and Central Kitchen.

Designed to serve the beautiful neighborhood in which it resides, 20th Street is an intimate, thoughtful space—open and spacious, warm and inviting. We’ll be sourcing exclusive coffees for the new location, and roast all coffees in-house, on a vintage 1969 5-kilo Probat. We can’t wait to share what has been the year’s long labor of countless individuals. We’re so proud of it. See you soon.

We’d love for you to come by and let us treat you to a coffee, today (Sunday, February 24th) from 8AM – 8PM.

 

Dispatches: Guatemala & El Salvador

We spent the last two weeks in El Salvador and Guatemala, two countries we’ve enjoyed thoroughly on past trips, and to which we were excited to return.

El Salvador

In El Salvador we visited Finca California, a small farm we purchased about 15-bags of coffee from last year, hoping to discuss their farm’s organization and processing. The 150 hectare farm built raised African drying beds to dry his highest quality coffees last year, which improved their coffee’s quality immensely. During our visit they decided to build four more beds, seeing the potential for getting much better prices for higher quality coffees. We literally watched them hammering posts into the ground, building the new bed’s foundations as we drove away from their lovely farm. We can’t wait to taste their hard work’s results.

From there we headed to the San Vicente region, where Luis Cristiani grows quite a large amount of great coffees at >1700 MASL (even some Pacamara!). Luis has never pursued specialty coffee roasters, but after seeing his picking, sorting and processing first hand, we were blown away—some of the best we’ve ever seen in Latin America, no question. Luis owns and operates his own wet mill, called Beneficio Las Vegas. His coffees are not only dried on raised drying beds, but in the shade—which contributes immensely to both flavor and to a coffee’s longevity as green beans.

Guatemala

We left El Salvador and headed to Guatemala, to meet a friend in Antigua, owner of Beneficio Buena Vista, Pedro Zelaya. The last few Guatemalan harvests have been terrorized by leaf rust. To improve quality and guarantee delicious coffees, Pedro installed a density sorter, which is used after the coffee has been hand-sorted. Each of his coffees are put through the density sorter three times before being shipped out. We purchase our Hunapu and our Cubito from Pedro, both of which have been great coffees. But after cupping the fresh crop samples, we can’t wait to get our hands on these new lots come April or May (Spring really is the best time of year for any coffee lover).

We left Antigua and headed out to meet with some new, exciting producers—young, committed, hard-working folks whose coffees we can’t wait to share with you in the coming months!

You never know how origin visits will go until you’re on the ground, and it’s always such a welcome relief when things fall into place. The trip was a tremendous success, a truly fruitful adventure.