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Honduras Cup of Excellence 2006 San Pedro Sula

I was last in Honduras as a juror at the first coffee competition ever ... before Cup of Excellence. The coffees back in that competition showed great potential, but also gave evidence to all the problems with Honduran coffee. These came in the form of highly defective cups, often occuring sporadically in what was otherwise a very fine coffee. What was the problem? Imperfect quality practices on the farm, especially in the wet-milling and drying stages, and a very "commercial coffee" treatment of the crop in transporting and storing the lots. The harsh reality of quality coffee production is that you can ruin an excellnt lot at any of 100 distinct steps from tree to green seed. There are still hints of these former problems, since the tradition of coffee in Honduras catered to lower end commercial coffee demands. In fact Honduras always had the potential for greatness in Specialty coffee ... there are unique high-altitude regions that have their own distinct "cafecultura", coffee culture, and put great care into their coffee. Now the milling and transporting has fallen into line with the quality coffee mantra, and small lots of excellent coffee can avoid storage and milling in the sweltering heat of San Pedro Sula. The evidence of the new approach to quality in Honduras was the almost non-existence of those tainted cups, in particular, phenloic cups. Last time I was here we were kicking out 20% of the lots for the occurence of phenolic taints. This time, I think there were 2 lots in the top 60 that had this unfortunate problem. Anyway, Honduras is changing. There are US brands on every street corner (Fridays, KFC, Burger King). There are some nasty gangs imported from the US too; the 18, Salvatrucha, etc. And there are gringos like me, telling them which coffees are good and which are not. Well, at least our goal is to help farmers get the best price possible for their coffee, not to extract wealth from the general population. In the next few years, as I have in the past few, I am going to offer absolutely bitchin' coffees from Honduras, and I anticipate I will continue to have trouble getting customers to buy them. I ask you please "Remember Honduras" . Remember them because they make your t-shirts, they pick your bananas, and they grow some amazing coffees that deserve more attention than they get. Cup a great Honduras from Santa Barbara, from Ocotepeque, from Lempira, next to a Guatemala Antigua or a nice Costa Rica and I can guarantee a photo-finish. Here are 3 pages of pictures from the 2006 competition, and a few are actually about coffee! -Tom

All my Honduras COE scoring through 3 rounds, plus top 10.

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You are here, in Honduras, for the 2006 Cup of Excellence competition, San Pedro Sula. Watch out for giant trees and big yellow dots.
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Decayed donuts? Who thought THAT was a good idea? Upon your arrival, you'll see more american chains in Honduras than in Houston. Well, almost.
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"Drink the good" at a price ... redemption.
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The "mini super" down on the main road, always affiliated with either Coke or Pepsi.
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In the tourist shops, motor oil and nic-nacs.
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At the hotel "the view" is not quite as beautiful as the sign for "the view".
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Fine art a La Hotel Copantl, San Pedro Sula. Hmmmm....
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The other event at the hotel, the palm oil tasting competition.
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A trip to a milling station, the low grown trees nearby already loaded with green cherry.
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While others nearby (in the shade) are in full bloom.
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Another rare coffee specimen I discovered on the trip (i think the total was like 10 new cultivars...)
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My kind of art...
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Old mill equipment with a young coffee tree forcing it's way up beside it. Around a mill, coffee grows like weeds.
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Ihcafe, the technical arm of the coffee association. We visited their research farm at La Fe, Ilama, Santa Barbara department ...also the location of the Escuela de los Catadores; school of the coffee cuppers.
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At the ihcafe research farm, cell-level reproduction of genteic crosses, in this case, ethiopian crossed with the existing catimor cultivars of ihcafe-90 and lempira.
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Insect pride. I saw serveral collections on my trip. When something is beautiful, pin it to a board ... or take a picture.
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I don't know a lot 'bout bugs but they shur r pretty
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More pretty flyin' bugs.
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More pretty flyin' bugs
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Giant crawly thing
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Reverend arnold, hallelujah. He is a coffee farmer, trainer at the Ihcafe cupping school, and coordinator for the 2006 Honduras Cup of Excellence.
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We started with 3 rounds of calibration cupping, 10 cups that demonstrated good Honduran cup profiles, commercial grade coffees, and defective coffees.
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Phil Anacker of Flying Goat Coffee sniffs the crust.
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Norm from the Roasterie in Kansas City scores the calibration round. Later we blind cupped the same coffees scrambled to see how well we could identify them.
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Addy of iceland.
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The number crunchers at work. There is a seaprate staff hired to handle scoring, and an auditor to certify results. All coffees are given random 3 digit codes, that are scrambled with each new round.
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Coffee is everywhere in Honduras ... that evening, a kiosk named after a coffee varietal: catuai.
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My kind of artwork.
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Judges photograph judges. It's a fraternity/sorority.
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Fancy ass coffee farm that a fellow judge noted was more of a yoga resort than a coffee farm. Either way, it was a nice place.
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The marimba treatment. These guys can really wail. Buenos Aires is located in Santa Barbara department, 1.5 hours from San Pedro Sula.
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A little art show at the Buenos Aires farm - I bought the "santa cena" (i.e. Last Supper) made of rocks
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Phil makes a new friend.
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Finca Buenos Aires is owned by Roger Rajan, who owns clothing factories, I think. He had these Sivetz style roasters built in Honduras
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Lotsa bike power in Honduras.
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One of the best things about the yoga retreat was that all the coffee was blooming.
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Blooming coffee has an incredible floral smell, somewhat like jasmine flower.
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This tree had few leaves but tons of flower. I believe it is a caturra.
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These are caturra (new leaves are green) but the farm has a lot of catimor too.
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Finca Buenos Aires has coffee between 900 meters and 1250 meters. It is not extremel high altitude. They have a lot of red catuai cultivar.

 

Oh, there is so much more ... 2 more pages in fact.

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The last page has the winning farm list or you can check out all my COE scores

Honduras 2006 Cup of Excellence Winning Coffees
Final Score Coffee Producer Name Farm Name Area City State Altitude Variety
1 91.41 MUNIR HAWIT SANTA MARTHA TEGUCIGALPITA VICTORIA YORO 1,266 PACAMARA 1
2 91.36 JOSE ANAEL GUEVARA RAMIREZ LAS BARRERAS AZACUALPA SAN MARCOS CAIQUIN LEMPIRA 1,558 IHC-90 2
3 90.36 JOSE GEOVANY MARTINEZ EL PEZOTE LA LIBERTAD LEPAERA LEMPIRA 1,560 PACAS 3
4 90.14 TATIANA ISABEL LARA PINEDA   GUACAMAYA DISTRITO CENTRAL FRANCISCO MORAZAN 1,600 CATURRA 4
5 89.86 MANUEL ANTONIO TROCHEZ BAIDE RIO HELADO EL AGUACATAL SANTA BARBARA SANTA BARBARA 1,358 CATUAI 5
6 89.73 NICOLAS ACOSTA LA MONTAÑITA LAS MATARAS SAN MARCOS DE CAIQUIN LEMPIRA 1,675 PACAS 6
7 89.59 ELIO BANEGAS VALLE EL OCOTILLO LA MONTAÑA YUSCARAN EL PARAISO 1,250 TYPICA 7
8 88.91 MARYSABEL CABALLERO EL PUENTE LA PIEDRONA CHINACLA LA PAZ 1,580 CATUAI 8
9 88.09 JOSE ORLANDO ARITA JIREH RIO CHIQUITO LA LABOR OCOTEPEQUE 1,590 PACAS 9
10 87.45 RAFEL BANEGAS EL BACHAN LA VALENCIANA YUSCARAN EL PARAISO 1,200 TYPICA 10
11 85.73 GENARO AGUILAR NOLASCO YAQUELIN EL CARRIZAL SAN JUAN INTIBUCA 1,750 CATUAI 11
12 85.59 JORGE ALBERTO VALLECILLO YANEZ EL COMUN EL MATAZANO SANTIAGO DE PURINGLA LA PAZ 1,705 CATUAI 12
13 85.59 NELSON RAFAEL GUERRA CHINCHILLA SESESMILE SESESMILE LA ENCARNACION OCOTEPEQUE 1,600 PACAS 13
14 85.59 FILIBERTO RUIZ VELASQUEZ LOS DURAZNOS EL BELLOTON LEPAERA LEMPIRA 1,500 CATUAI 14
15 85.59 RAUL CALLEJAS WEITNAUER EL EDEN LA MONTAÑITA SANTA LUCIA FRANCISCO MORAZAN 1,650 CATUAI 15
16 85.55 SOLEDAD PINTO MEJIA MANTEPEQUE BOCA DEL MONTE CORQUIN COPAN 1,520 CATURRA 16
17 85.45 AZUCENA CABALLERO MORENO EL ZANJON EL JICARAL SAN JOSE DE COLINAS SANTA BARBARA 1,136 CATURRA 17
18 85.36 EMILIANO NAVARRETE AGUILAR LOMAS CANGUAL EL NARANJIT CANGUAL SAN JUAN INTIBUCA 1,670 CATUAI 18
19 85.36 ESTEBAN MADRID CHAVEZ EL SAUCE I EL SAUCE SANTA BARBARA SANTA BARBARA 1,440 PACAS 19
20 85.09 SAUL DOMINGUEZ GUTIERREZ EL SAUCE GUACAMAYAS TEGUCIGALPA FRANCISCO MORAZAN 1,500 CATURRA-CATUAI 20
21 85.05 JOSE DOLORES SANTOS CASTILLO EL LIQUIDAMBAR EL PLAYON AJUTERIQUE COMAYAGUA 1,568 CATUAI 21
22 84.82 SERBANDO GALO RODRIGUEZ LA MORA CHICHICASTAL SANTIAGO DE PURINGLA LA PAZ 1,751 CATUAI 22
23 84.82 MARIA IRMA GUTIERREZ HERNANDEZ LAS MUJERES GUACAMAYA DISTRITO CENTRAL FRANCISCO MORAZAN 1,550 CATURRA 23
24 84.50 BENJAMIN GOMEZ CASTILLO ALTOS DE LA LAGUNA EL CEDRAL ARRIBA JESUS DE OTORO INTIBUCA 1,623 IHC-90 24
25 84.32 WILMER DUBON CABALLERO VISTA HERMOSA EL CIELITO SANTA BARBARA SANTA BARBARA 1,570 PACAS 25
26 84.32 RAFAEL DE JESUS CHINCHILLA CHINCHILLA LOS AGAPANTOS EL SOCORRO VALLE DE ANGELES FRANCISCO MORAZAN 1,609 CATUAI 26
27 84.32 MIGUEL ANGEL RODRIGUEZ ESCOBAR LOS GIRASOLES CONES BELEN LEMPIRA 1,480 CATUAI 27
28 84.27 ALBA LETICIA OCHOA CAMACHO   EL CEDRAL JESUS DE OTORO INTIBUCA 1,550 CATUAI 28
29 84.23 JOSE OMAR CALDERON ROMERO   SUPTAL CORQUIN COPAN 1,400 CATURRA 29
30 84.09 EZRY MOISES HERRERA LAS AMAZONAS LA PIEDRONA CHINACLA LA PAZ 1,560 CATUAI 30
31 84.05 MANUEL DE JESUS VILLEDA PORTILLO CERRO OSCURO GUALAN Y CEMENTERA LEPAERA LEMPIRA 1,580 PACAS 31
32 84.00 PEDRO MORENO MORENO EL CEDRAL LAS VEGAS SANTA BARBARA 1,590 BOURBON 32
33 84.00 MARCO ANTONIO LANDAVERDE   BOCA DEL MONTE CORQUIN COPAN 1,450 CATURRA 33