Honduras—a region not historically known for exquisite, high-scoring specialty coffees. However, over the past year and a half or so, that has been slowly changing.
Truly exceptional Honduran coffees haven’t been flooding the market, necessarily, but, every now and then, a few will slowly sneak in there.
Here at the Table, Honduras has experienced very little representation and the ones that I have had didn’t really impress me. We’ll see what happens today with this lot, roasted by the very capable folks at Coava Coffee.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of David Mancia Honduras, from Coava Coffee Roasters in Portland, Oregon. Feel free to pull up a chair.
David Mancia’s two hectare farm sits high up in the village of El Cielito, Santa Barbara. His coffee is primarily the bourbon mutation Pacas with a bit of the Catimor varietal mixed in. These coffees are all depulped, fermented, and washed on site before being transferred to Beneficio San Vicente’s mill an hour away for patio drying.
Direct trade doesn’t just mean better coffee. It means a better life for independent farmers. Under the mixed-batch system, David Mancia, who only produces 25 bags of his premium coffee, would get lost in the mix. Thankfully, Coava Coffee Roasters has given David’s beans a chance to shine on their own. Their direct-trade partnership has helped David expand his farm, produce higher quality coffee, and, best of all, buy the home he shares with his family.
origin: El Cielito, Santa Barbara, Honduras
farm: Beneficio San Vicente
producer: David Mancia
elevation: 1600 – 1650 meters above sea level
cultivars: Pacas, Catimor
process: fully washed, patio dried
The David Mancia Honduras produces a fine, delicate aroma that is both deep and pungent. Strawberry and cherry blossom take center stage, along with a flutter of rose hips—very floral aromatics—, butter, and a pinch of vanilla extract.
Up front I’m getting some really sweet flavors of vanilla cream, buttered scone (or some sort of light crust), cane sugar, and dry cranberries. Even a dash of a citrus glaze. Underneath all of these flavors is a note of a deeply rich and decadent dark chocolate that serves as a bedrock for the lighter notes on top.
As it cools, the coffee gets even fuller-bodied, really spreading over the palate and filling the sides of the mouth. It is a deluge of flavor pouring out of the cup and completely flooding the taste buds. There are a lot of berry flavors happening here (like a big bowl of mixed strawberry (especially), raspberry, and blackberry); also thrown in are hints of Fuji apple, Bartlett pear, apricot, kiwi, and spiced tea (like mulling spices or apple-cinnamon). Flowing down the middle of the tongue, with the dark chocolate serving as riverbanks on the sides of the tongue, is a thin stream of a tart acidity that I can’t quite put my finger on—definitely citrus, definitely tart, lively and effervescent; perhaps tangerine? Grapefruit?
Medium body; creamy mouthfeel; citrus acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
I was very pleased by the David Mancia Honduras, from Coava Coffee Roasters. Very pleased.
I can’t recall a Honduran coffee at the Table that was this pleasant, this fine, and had such crystal clarity. Typically, in my experience, these coffees are earthier, more abrasive, and rougher around the edges. Not this one; no, this coffee is as polished and refined as I am (as evidenced by my gentlemanly mannerisms and exquisite tastes in life’s more… civilized things).
Here is my one recommendation for this coffee, and you can disregard it depending on your taste preferences: I was only supplied enough to make about a mug and a half, so I only had one shot at getting it right—my cup was a little under-extracted for my taste; a slightly finer grind and three to four concentric pulse pours in a Chemex, I’m sure, would have made for a fuller body and more flavor extraction.
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.