Honduras El Cristal
The coffee is picked at its optimum maturity and is taken to the Benefico to be pulped the same day. Then it is taken to a concrete pile where it is left to rest and ferment for 24- 36 hours depending on the ambient temperature. Afterwards the coffee is washed—up to three times in the same pile. Next it is passed through a channel where floating beans are removed and the rest are classified.
The coffee is then moved to a patio to pre-dry for 1 day before its taken to African beds or raised beds to continue the drying process for 8 days. During this time, the coffee is moved every hour and every afternoon inspected for any more damaged grains, which will then be removed.
Q & A with José Esteban Madrid
What motivates you to produce specialty coffees?
All my life we have dedicated ourselves to this. This is our world, and I don’t see myself working on anything else
Who helps you on the farm? Who drives what? How many people are hired?
When I can’t be on the farm, my brothers help me with the work. We don’t have any other permanent workers. We have employed 4 temporary workers and hire an additional 12 pickers at harvest time.
Can you tell me a little about how you got into coffee and the history of your farm?
Coffee is a tradition for us. My dad has dedicated his life to coffee and my grandfather too, they have left us this legacy and we want to honour them by working hard and doing things well.
I bought this farm in 2008 with the aim of producing specialty coffee, and we have gone through different difficult situations on the farm to make it productive, since the climatic conditions in the area are very adverse due to the proximity to the Forest. In spite of this, the climate is also one of the virtues of the farm, since it allows a slow development of the grain, this, accompanied by the good discipline and attitude that the collectors have, and the correct handling of the coffee in the Beneficio, the result in excellent coffee recognized in several quality competitions nationwide.
What else do you grow on your farm?
Avocados that we sell at the local market.
What are the biggest challenges producing coffee?
– Diseases—since they are becoming more severe and it is more difficult to control them.
– The harvest—the collection becomes complicated by the long rainy seasons in the area which cause the ripe coffee to detach and fall to the ground.
What are your short or long term plans? What would you like to improve on the farm?
– To plant a new plot with new varieties of good quality coffee such as Geisha.
– Try new processing methods to achieve better quality.
– Continue growing avocados as an alternative to diversify our income.