ACE course in Honduras part 2: roasting & Esteban's May 14 2013

......From Erwin's farm we drove to Esteban Madrid Chavez' farm El Sauce, located in the community of the same name in Santa Barbara. The farm borders the Santa Barbara National Park which is home to many different animals. We heard monkeys & were told to be on the lookout for a Quetzal, a bird with extraordinary blue plumage. Unfortunately we didn't see any.

We stopped first to have a look at the mill, where two workers were pulping the coffee. Natural & washed coffees were drying on the patios & some specially selected lots were drying on the African beds.

We then drove up the road to the farm. Whereas Erwin's farm was pretty dry with mostly pine trees, this farm was much greener, with rainforest along the edges of the farm. We had {very luckily} with us a coffee farmer called Pedro who was our interpreter. He was amazed by the farm, the coffee shrubs & the soil - he thought it was perfect and kept passing around handfulls of the stuff.

El Sauce has placed in a few Cup of Excellence competitions & it was not hard to see why. The farm was very lush, the coffee shrubs all looked very green & healthy, they had a big peach tree, many avocado trees & a big patch of tomatoes that Pedro liked the look of.

The next day was the first of three days of full-on roasting training at IHCAFE's Le Fe agricultural training centre. We had two, 2 barrel sample roasters, a 1kg roaster & a couple of lab assistants available to us.

We had buckets of fresh crop coffees to roast - different varieties, altitudes & regions. From our theory lessons we had ample time to discuss what we planned to do with the coffees, then roast, cup & discuss how we could roast better, and to discuss what went wrong and what went right.