April 18, 2018

Beneficio San Vicente 2018

By Jamie Isetts
Beneficio San Vicente 2018

We were blown away by the coffees we purchased through Honduras's Beneficio San Vicente in 2017. This family-run dry mill (the place where coffee is collected, cleaned, and prepared for export) has pioneered a unique model for connecting roasters directly to specific farmers. 

Coffees from BSV's partners in the Santa Barbara region routinely dominate national and international competitions. One can find a sweeping range of profiles in their coffees, from deep, chocolatey staple to bright and tropical stunners. We were shocked to discover that nearly all of the farms that BSV works with are located on one mountain! A simple drive around the ridge is like a who's who of specialty coffee, with individual farmers selling to specific well-known roasters. 

The Paz family (including our key contact for lot selection, Benjamin Paz) meticulously separates every lot delivered to the station. This means isolating coffees by farmer, cultivar, section of farm, and even the day that the coffee was picked. There is no question that this involves much more work for the dry mill. Yet, this degree of detail is what makes it possible for roasters to hone in on a farm to work with and pay a higher premium for their effort. 

Now to the coffees! We intend to repeat several favorite offerings from the 2017 run of this project. The constant scattered rainfall of the Santa Barbara region means that the harvest is extremely long, meaning we can get fresh coffee from several different points in the season. Fastidious practices in drying and sorting the coffee further extend the life of these coffees. This allows us to serve a range of BSV coffees from fall to early spring.

Here are the farmers we intend to repeat business with in 2018:

Miguel Guzman Miguel's Pacas cultivar was a standout on our espresso menu. We cupped several promising lots and hope to see the same unique flavors of ginger, lime, and tropical fruit.

Nelson Ramirez The most sophisticated of the farmers we purchased from, Nelson has built an incredible wet mill in the El Cielito area. Ramirez has long-term plans to convert his farm to an organic model. The soil health, drying area, and overall cleanliness give us high hopes for what's to come. 

Nahun Fernandez & the Fernandez Family Though this family loves to experiment, they're really good at doing the simple things right. They pick ripe cherries with care, separate their lots, and dry their coffees in parabolic driers they've constructed next to their wet mill. We're excited to see more from this family in 2018, both experimental and traditional.