Nacimiento is a small farm owned and run by Mr. Jobneel Caceres Dios and his wife Fany. The farm is situated at the top of the El Cielito branch of the Santa Barbara mountain in Honduras. The high altitude and moist, cool climate makes this one of the most unique areas for growing coffees in Honduras.
One of the positive effects from the cool climate is longer maturation times for the coffee cherry, hence more flavour in the coffee. There are also challenges related to the longer maturation times. Jobneel needs to harvest from January to June, which is a very long time, and if the early pickings are mixed with the late pickings the coffee quality and shelf life is negatively affected. Therefore we have been separating his coffee by picking dates and cultivars for several years and this has been one of many important improvement Jobneel has made to his coffee production in the past years.
One of the biggest improvements we made some years ago year was to help finance and build new drying tables with shade cover. Previously Jobneel’s coffees were dried on cement patios. We are not big fans of this method as the patios tend to be unclean and the coffee easily over heats during drying, making the shelf life shorter. With the new drying tables, the coffee is now protected from rain and dirt and the temperature is cooler due to the shade cover making the coffees taste very clean and fresh for a longer time. Jobneel and his wife are also picking out all the defect parchment coffee while the coffee is drying.
We have also helped Jobneel improve the picking by implementing hand sorting of unripe and over ripe cherries from the ripe coffee cherries as well as improving the fermentation and washing techniques. But apart from helping Jobneel improve his harvesting, processing techniques and logistics we have also discussed how he can improve the quality of his farming practices. By visiting his farm up to several times per year since 2009 we have been able to discuss and agree upon many aspects that we think have already improved the quality of his coffees and has affected his farm in a positive way. As a result Jobneel has agreed to stop using herbicides on the farm. He has also switched to a more efficient fertiliser that means he can use slightly less fertiliser per tree but the trees are more healthy. He has been planting shade trees on the farm to protect the coffee both from extreme cold but mainly to protect them from rising temperatures / global warming. Jobneel has also removed his Catuaí cultivar that did not taste great and replaced it with better tasting Bourbon and Pacas trees. He has also been planting new SL28 cultivars that we know taste great and he has planted them with lower density per hectare which could improve quality and also help prevent leaf rust from spreading too fast.
Jobneel is now paying a lot more attention to details in order to improve his farming and production techniques. BEcause of this he has become one of the role models for quality production in his area. We have been paying him fair prices for his coffee ever since our first purchase back in 2008 and have also been increasing the amount of coffee we buy from him every year. Today we try to purchase all of his coffees unless they have quality issues or defects. And we also have a gentleman's agreement that the minimum price we pay for his coffee is USD 5,- per lb of green coffee F.O.B. But we have been and can pay more depending on volumes and quality. This commitment has given Jobneel a much more secure income which has resulted in a lot of great investments on his farm. Over the years he has been able to build a new house for his family and buy land next to it where he can dry his coffee. He even invested in a small coffee roaster in 2017 so that he could roast the lower quality coffee that he produces and sell it in the local market. Huge improvements to his wet mill where he processes his coffee has been made in the last year and he is currently planting more coffee in newly purchased land not far away from his original farm.
All we can say is that we are proud to be able to work with such a great farmer and his delicious coffees and we are excited to be able to offer what we believe is one of the best coffees from Honduras.