Miriam Elizabeth (“Betty”) Perez has been a longstanding advocate of women in leadership positions within the Honduras COMSA cooperative, and she has consistently produced outstanding coffee. We are beyond pleased to offer her honey-processed coffee this year, a lush and satisfying cup reminiscent of a full-blown natural.
Harvest is carried out in the months of December to February, time when sunlight penetrates the farm softly and indirectly due to the abundance of shade in the farm, in the coolness of the shorter daylight hours. Harvesting is conducted by hand, carefully selecting fruit that has achieved optimal maturity, cherries that are freshest in appearance, firm and brilliant in color. This meticulous cherry selection mandates at least three pickings of the same plant, in order to allow for a superior quality coffee.
After harvest, the fruit is submitted to a wet processing method where the coffee is depulped, and later placed in tanks where it gets fermented for over 36 hours. Any byproducts of this process, such as pulp, are reincorporated to the farm’s soil. Finally, the coffee gets laid out to dry under the sun in a protracted drying process.
Over the last few years, COMSA has been experimenting with honey processing as well as natural/dry processed coffees, which have rendered excellent cup results when submitted to quality evaluation. This coffee from Betty Perez—along with a neighboring microlot from Melvin Alonso (review coming next week)—is an exceptional example of successful experimentation.*
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Honduras COMSA Miriam Perez Microlot, from Higher Grounds Trading Company in Traverse City, Michigan. Feel free to pull up a chair.
origin: Marcala, La Paz, Honduras
farm: Miriam Perez Microlot
producer: Miriam Perez
association: Honduras COMSA Cooperative
elevation: 1250 meters above sea level
cultivars: Typica, Caturra, Bourbon
There’s not much that separates this coffee’s aroma from that of a natural Sidama. In fact, if I were cupping blind, I would have guessed it was a natural Sidama. But it’s not—it’s a honey-proceed Honduras; and it’s aroma is filled with scents of blueberry, cocoa powder, and florals.
Taking my first few sips from the cup, the flavor follows the nose. Again, there are some strong similarities to a natural Sidama in this full-bodied coffee, but there are some Honduran nuances coming through, too. There are big flavors of blueberry and blackberry immediately out of the gate, but I wouldn’t necessarily call this a “berry bomb.” Not in the sense that these flavors are explosive or bombastic; but they are very prominent up front, and they are propelled forward by deep, bold notes of dark chocolate cocoa powder and roasted almond. As the cup cools, the coffee becomes much lusher, as juicy flavors of black cherry, peach, nectarine, and a citrus acidity. There are some nuances of roastiness and earth throughout the cup, but they’re negligible in the overall flavor profile.
*content courtesy of Higher Grounds Trading Company
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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.