This is our third consecutive year featuring Reiniel Ramirez on our menu, and we’re thrilled to have him back. Reiniel represents the vanguard of a growing specialty movement in his corner of the Comayagua Mountains of Honduras, called Selguapa. This community has blossomed into one of our key partners since initiating this relationship in 2020. Reiniel’s career truly catapulted in 2018, when his neighbor Jesus Galeas met Rony Gomez of Cafe Raga, a producers’ association that has helped many Honduran producers improve their craft and earn appropriate compensation for doing so.
Together, Rony and Jesus implemented training on a range of premium-focused qualitative improvements in Selguapa, from cherry collection to fermentation to drying. These practices have been reinforced with infrastructure investments - a new eco-pulper, ten times as many drying beds, and freshly tiled fermentation tanks. And though this group of twenty-five producers represents just a small portion of the eight-hundred farmers in their area, their rapid progress bodes well for their neighbours, who now have a nearby example of coffee’s potential to be a more viable, sustainable source of income for their families. This year, in addition to featuring Reiniel, we are also thrilled to represent his wife, Denia, who managers her own parcel, as well as a blended lot from six other local producers. Altogether, what started as a 1,450KG purchase from one farmer in 2020 has evolved to a 3,800KG commitment from eight farmers in 2022. This is precisely the long-term, iterative impact that we strive toward wherever we can make it happen, and right now, there’s no better example than Honduras.
This year, just like the two before, Reiniel’s coffee is one of the best we’ve cupped. As our importing and producer advocacy partners, Semilla, explain — “based on advice from Jesus "Chungo" Galeas (wizard coffee producer and key employee at Cafe Raga) [many producers] decided to try lengthening their fermentation times both in cherry and after depulping which, as expected, has yielded a very welcome amplification in depth of perceived sweetness and fruit character.” Based on what we’ve tasted so far, we couldn’t agree more. In the cup, we taste papaya, orange blossom, and almond.