Marysabel Caballero and her husband Moises Herrera are working with over 200 hectares of land, planted with coffee, together with Marysabel’s father Fabio Caballero. They are 2nd and 3rd generation coffee farmers and Fabio has been rewarded many times for his commitment to developing coffee quality in Honduras. We have known the family since 2004, and started buying coffee from them in 2009.
The Caballeros are extremely committed to their coffee farms and are very concerned about the environmental sustainability of their farms. A lot of their energy and focus goes towards improving the soil of their farms to ensure a healthy growing environment for their coffee shrubs. Therefore they produce organic fertilizer made from cow and chicken manure mixed with pulp from coffee cherries and other organic material. This is used in addition to some mineral fertilizer to ensure that the coffee plants get the nutrients they need. Oranges, avocados, flowers, bananas and other fruits are also grown at the farms, but mainly for the pickers to eat and to create biodiversity at the farms that ensures good growing conditions and shade for the coffee trees.
The local pickers that are hired to harvest the coffee get paid more than what is normal in the area because they are required to sort the cherries during picking. Therefore the pickers are equipped with 2 bags during picking. One bag for ripe coffee cherries, the other is for immature and damaged coffee.
Don Fabio, Marysabel and Moises has always focused on quality leading to getting 3rd price at the annual SCAA “Coffee of the year” competition in 2010. They have also done well in the Cup of Excellence for many years, as one of the few producers from their area and in 2016 they got 1st place with their Geisha Coffee.
Geisha/Gesha cultivar is a very rare cultivar that was rediscovered in Panama in 2004 / 2005. In the 1930's seeds were taken from Ethiopia probably near a town called Gesha and brought to Kenya and later to Tanzania before they were taken to Costa Rica in the 1950's where it was planted with mixed results. The plant needs high altitude to yield good quality and is also known to be plant with low productivity. Most likely it did not become popular as other cultivars produced good quality and more cherries even in lower altitudes. It does have some resistance to leaf rust and ojo de gallo which are pathogenic fungi attacking the leaves of the plant.
The plant produces oblong cherries and seeds. Today it is probably the most famous cultivar because of it's extremely intense flavors of tangerine, papaya, jasmine, lemon and honey. But it's flavor intensity all depends on the growing conditions.