Honduras Isaias Fernandez | Onyx Coffee Lab
The esteemed Santa Barbara region of Honduras has become synonymous for specialty coffee cultivation and is home to this micro-lot from Isaias Fernandez. This is our third year buying his coffee, and we couldn’t be happier. With flavors of dried cranberry and melon this coffee is fruit-forward, yet comfortable thanks to Isaias innovative washed anaerobic process. This coffee performs well on both espresso and filter. Brew quickly... The volumes are small on this micro-lot so it won’t be offered long.
Traditional | ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ○ | Modern
Anaerobic Washed & Raised Bed Dried.
Cup Notes: Dried Cranberry, Winey, Melon, Raw Honey
Santa Barbara, Honduras, is a fascinating coffee-growing region. It is home to many Cup of Excellence winners, San Vicente Exporters, as well as microclimates, unlike any other coffee-producing country. We visited our friend Benjamin Paz at San Vicente three years ago, and were blown away by his hospitality and the quality of the coffees. Each time a producer drops off coffee at the mill, it's logged as an independent 'day lot.' That lot is then roasted and cupped so they can assign sensory information to the lot. We spent three days cupping at San Vicente, each sample only represented by a day lot code, making the cupping anonymous. Table after table the coffee that stood out was produced by Isaias Fernandez.
Each delivery from Isaias was dynamic, sweet, and shiny. Benjamin reached out to Isaias to coordinate a visit to La Fincona. Isaias greeted us with enthusiasm, walking with us to the top of his farm, which overlooks Lago de Yojoa (Lake Yojoa) and the rest of the Santa Barbara mountain range.
At the moment he is growing Pacas, Parainema, and a bit of Bourbon and Gesha. Each variety is picked and processed on-site with Isaias' new micro-mill connected to his house. Isaias is one of the few producers that do a pre-ferment on his coffee for 48 hours before depulping, creating a semi-anaerobic environment. After the cherry is depulped, it is then fermented for another 48 hours before it is dried on parabolic beds.
Isaias Fernandez's commitment and vision for producing coffee are apparent in the quality of his microlots, and he is hopeful of improving each harvest.
Parainema is becoming a very popular variety to see in production in Honduras. Toted as a rust-resistant Sarchimor, this variety commonly appears in the top of the Cup of Excellence and fetches high prices. Created by IHCAFÉ, this cultivar was selected for its resistance to disease as well as its cup quality and high yield. Typically rust-resistant varieties are touted as lower quality, Parainema seems an exception to the rule.