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. As a result of this they have established close relationships with roasters like Stumptown, Intelligentsia, Counter Culture Coffee and us at Tim Wendelboe.
The Java cultivar is quite rare to find in Central America. It is known for it's good quality and big production, but it has a bi-annual cycle meaning it produces a lot one year followed by a small production the next year. Java has gotten it's name after the island of Java where the cultivar was brought from Ethiopia around the 1930's. Some of those cultivars were later taken to Cameroon and later brought to America. When grown in Nicaragua people call it "Javanica".
The seeds and berries of Java are oblong and the flavors can be floral, fruity and very sweet given that is is cultivated in good conditions.