On our origin trip to El Salvador and Honduras this year you will be traveling with Jamie Jongkind to visit Los Pirineos in the Southeast, and Las Cruces in the Northwest of El Salvador. In Honduras we will be visiting the Caballeros and the Intibuca farmers in the Southwest. We will be focusing on doing more naturals from these countries this year.
We have been working in El Salvador since the very beginning of Nordic Approach. We’ll be visiting Los Pirineos and Jasal. We travel to El Salvador once or twice a season, this is in Feb/Mar and/or Mar/Apr. We visit both of our partners in two different regions of the country.
Jasal: Visit farms, processing and dry mill. And get the chance to cup washed and naturals.
Tecapa: Visit Gilberto’s farm, see the cherry being picked and how they process washed, different honey’s and natural coffees. And also cup these coffees.
In El Salvador it is possible to both cup and see production or even cherries on the tree in the same period. We work with two partners here and both are family run companies. The country is very small and both our partners are only 90 minutes or so either side of the capital.
Jasal is an exporter that is a family run business, who owns a number of farms, a processing mill and a dry mill in the Santa Ana region of El Salvador. This is in the Northwest and is a well known and established area for coffee production. We will cup coffee from their farms, washed, pulped naturals and naturals. You will also get to see how cherries are picked, delivered to the processing mill, milled and dried.
Tecapa is the exporter of the Los Pirineos coffees from Gilberto Barona, Gilberto owns the exporting company. His operation is in the Southeast of El Salvador. It is a beautiful farm where they process coffee in many different ways. You will get to see the processing in action and cup through his coffees.
We work with a couple of producers with a very broad selection of different farms and preparation like honeys and naturals. Everything from tiny micro lots of 5 bags to 100 bag lots. They work well as filters and are sought after as espressos. Depending on location and altitude they are harvesting over a longer period of time. Majority will be in February. We have good experience with our Salvadors holding for longer than expected, possibly due to different preparations that the producers are doing for our coffees. Still good to use them within a reasonable amount of time, but up to 9 months at least should fine.
Travel with us to Honduras and visit two very different examples of production and cup these coffees. In Chinacla, La Paz we see a larger scale of production and well established infrastructure. While in Masaguara, Intibuca we will see small farmers, operating simply and producing fantastic coffees.
Chinacla, La Paz: visit Marysabel Caballero and Moises Herrera, our partners for many years now in Honduras. Visit farms, see production and cup washed and natural coffees, as well as some interesting varieties.
Masaguara, Intibuca: visit a number of the small producers that are a part of the 60 member group of this region we have been coordinating with. See there individual set ups for processing and their farms. You will get to cup their coffees back in Marcala TOWN.
We fly into Tegucigalpa and drive straight down to Marcala town, while Tegucigalpa has quite a reputation, Marcala is a much smaller and rural town that is very easy to move around. There are a handful of good restaurants, and quite a number of local coffee shops to check out. We are based in Marcala for the entire trip, and stay in the same hotel. This trip is a good mix of half the time spect cupping and half the time spent in the field with producers. At the Caballeros’ you will get to see full scale production, processing, drying, milling and packaging. While in Intibuca you will have one to one interactions with farmers, there is not much English spoken but a great desire to learn and share knowledge.
We have lately increased our activities and offers from Honduras. The coffees we buy is almost all micro lots from different producers and farms. They are something different than our other coffees from Centrals. Really rich, complex and sweet. Most of what we are buying is harvested in February and March. Both because of the micro climate in the regions and also due to the higher altitudes. Hondurian coffees is by many known for fast ageing, but we are managing that by strict protocols on moisture and water activity, as well as good storage and efficient shipments.
Read more about Marysabel Caballero on the blog
Read more about Intibuca on the blog https://nordicapproach.no/2019/07/intibuca-honduras-increasing-profitability-through-micro-lot-separation/
- 24-26 March: visit Los Pirineos Farm in Usultan El Salvador. Cup available coffees; washed, yellow, red and black honey processed coffees and naturals
- 26-28 March: visit the Jasal family farms, processing station and mill in Santa Ana, El Salvador. Cup coffees from different farms, washed and natural
- 28-30 March: visit the Caballeros farms, processing station and dry mill in Marcala, Honduras. Cup coffees from different farms, some different varieties and natural coffees
- 1-2 April: visit small farmers across Intibuca region. Cup micro lots from small producers and blends from the region
Cupping vs Farm visits
Travel intensity (internal travel)
Amount of cupping
Amount of downtime/privacy
Frequency of stomach issues when NA team has travelled in this origin
Is this trip for me?
Our origin trips are for coffee professionals with green coffee purchasing responsibilities. You can escape the office/roastery and enjoy some spectacular scenery, however these trips are not holidays. You will work hard, and you are expected to behave as a professional at all times.
Comfort and security
Our coffee origins are all developing world countries with different standards of safety, varying degrees of infrastructure and diverse cultural norms. If you are concerned about your comfort or security on these trips, please reach out to our head buyer, Joanne. We will do everything we can to facilitate safe and relaxed travels.
Learn more about the regions and farmers we’ll be visiting:
In Usulutan, on top of the Tepaca volcano, you can find Los Pirineos owned by the producer Gilberto Baraona. It’s located on a volcanic mountain range surrounded by the cities of Berlin, Santiago de Maria and Joy. The cultivation of coffee at the farm was started in 1890 and according to family accounts, the original seeds of the property, and the mother plants were imported from Antigua Guatemala. The coffee is separated into small to medium sized batches based up on different parts of the farm and coffee varietals. Currently the farm cultivates the varietals Bourbon Elite, Pacas and Pacamara, but the farm has also taken part in a Procafe project growing different varietals. As a result they have plots of of native coffee trees, natural mutants and hybrids originated from all over the world. Los Pirineos farm was one of the pioneers in El Salvador to build its own Micro Coffee Mill. The producer still experiments with processing and drying methods.