César Fernandez, Producer
Pacas and Catuaí. Grown at 1400-1600 masl.
Our coffee from Las Flores represents an eight year partnership that started with the Honduran Cup of Excellence auction in 2010. César Fernandez placed fourth that year, and after purchasing a small portion of that lot, we were eager to work with him directly. In early 2011, we visited with the Paz family, who run Beneficio San Vicente in Peña Blanca. San Vicente has played an integral part in quality control and exportation for many producers in Honduras, and they continue to raise the bar for specialty coffee in Santa Bárbara and the surrounding areas.
César's four hectare farm was given to him by his father, and makes its way (rather steeply) from 1400 to 1600 meters above sea level. After picking ripe cherries, this blend of pacas and catuai is de-pulped at the Fernandez brothers' wet mill and immediately prepped for fermentation. Time in the tanks varies from 16-36 hours based on weather conditions. Friendly sibling rivalry has driven the Fernandez brothers to great success, selling their coffees to the finest roasters in the world. The money they earn each year is reinvested into the farms and processing facilities, and supports their children's higher education.
Since our first visit, César's farm has actually doubled in size! He started by planting newer lots at the top of the farm, and he is currently working on renewing the lower part of the farm. We've seen exciting results from the Parainema variety, which he will use to replace some of the older trees in the coming seasons.
I met Cesar on a rainy day in 2011 on the tiny road he calls home in El Cielito. I was so nervous and excited to meet this man who had recently placed 4th in the Honduran Cup of Excellence. Our team had fallen in love with his coffee and were hoping that this visit would be the start of a long-term partnership. When we pulled up to the house, a neighbor was blasting reggaeton. We exchanged brief introductions, and I looked over at Cesar with a smile and said, "We should be dancing!" He immediately burst out laughing, and the ice was broken. His laugh is one of the warmest and most genuine that I've ever heard.
Everything was enshrouded in clouds and mist that day, making our farm visits feel like a dream. After touring around with some of the other producers in the area, we had a chance to talk to him about buying his coffee directly and starting a relationship. He seemed open to the idea, and after the first season working together we helped him finance a parabolic drying table. This was a sign of our commitment to him and to the quality of the coffee. His brothers immediately followed suit, and today they have about 7 drying tables installed near the small washing station they share.
Cesar has always been open and up front, and never afraid to share a story or a laugh. We've celebrated birthdays and successes together with barbecues at the farm, and he continues to amaze us with his stamina and desire to keep improving the farm.
-Cheryl, Coffee Buyer
12oz of whole beans. Our premium coffee beans are roasted daily at our Greenpoint, Brooklyn roastery. We ship only whole bean coffee and do not grind the beans prior to shipping. Coffee is packaged in sealed compostable valve bags made from 100% renewable resources. We roast to order!