ACE course in Honduras part 1: cupping & Erwin's May 03 2013

Sometime in April during a roasting meeting, it was decided that someone needed to go to the ACE {Alliance for Coffee Excellence} coffee cupping & roasting course, in San Pedro Sula & Le Fe, Honduras, so off I went.

Along with another New Zealander {who roasts coffee in Melbourne} & three Australians, we spent two days in the state of the art IHCAFE lab in San Pedro Sula, working on cupping, tasting & scoring coffees.

From San Pedro Sula we drove to Cerro Azul, a farm owned by Erwin Mierisch, a Nicaraguan coffee farmer & Cup Of Excellence head judge.

Erwins mill was in full swing when we got there, coffee cherry was being soaked then pulped, the patios were full of coffee drying in the sun, the parabolic dryer was full & inside coffee was being machine dried then bagged.

We all jumped on the back of Erwins Land Cruiser, so we could see more of the farm. At the moment the wet & dry mill are at the bottom of the farm, but Erwin has plans to move the wet mill to a vacant block of land next door where there is a bit more room for when production increases.

Cerro Azul is 135 hectares in size & the altitude is from 1450 - 1900 MASL, the varietals grown are red catui, lempira & IHCAFE, Erwin also has yellow pacamara, orange bourbon, a low caffeine coffee called laurina {all coffees that have shown great results in Erwins Nicaraguan farms} all growing in his nursery, ready for planting after the current harvest is over.

Unfortunately the sample roaster was being reconditioned so we couldn't taste any coffee while we were there, but I have cupped a selection from Erwins Nicaraguan farms this year & they are outstanding, juicy & sweet with incredible flavours.