February 8, 2017

Origen San Marcos: What Are the Coffee Profiles of West Honduras?


Even in a small region, there can be dramatic variation in coffee profiles. Small differences in the soil, altitude, degree of sun and wind cover, processing method and more can lead to distinct tastes in the cup.

On the 17th and 18th February, Beneficio San Marcos are hosting a cupping and farm visits in western Honduras. (See our Events Calendar for more events like this.) They agreed to talk to us about the different profiles this region has to offer.

Lee este artículo en español Origen San Marcos: ¿Cuáles Son Los Perfiles de Café del Occidente de Honduras?

Coffee farm in Guisayote Honduras

A coffee farm near Güisayote in Western Honduras. Credit: Origen San Marcos

The Different Profiles of Western Honduras

Ocotepeque sits on the border with both Guatemala and El Salvador, and the Güisayote Biological Reserve lies in the centre of it. Coffees from here have notes of ripe fruit and honey, with a high and refined acidity, creamy body, and lingering aftertaste. Cooperativa Cocafelol tells us that their beans often have a floral aroma as well.

Celaque National Park, on the other hand, is a mountainous area on the eastern edge of the department. Their coffees have a citric, chocolate, and caramel profile, as well as a creamy body. Cocalmol, an association of 46 producers, farm at 1,300–1,600 m.a.s.l. and use shade trees.

SEE ALSO: Interview: How Training Cuppers Supports Specialty in Honduras

And San Marcos lies between Güisayote and Celaque. Coffees from here have the citric notes of Celaque with a caramel aftertaste and a smooth body. Beneficio San Marcos says you’ll often taste grapefruit, mandarin, and lemon in its coffees.

You can get between these three regions in 30 minutes to an hour, but even in this short period of time you’ll find coffees have distinctive flavours and aromas.

Finca Liquidambar in San Marcos

Finca Liquidambar in San Marcos. Credit: Origen San Marcos

What’s The Itinerary for Origen San Marcos?

Day one of Origen San Marcos will be given over to cupping coffees from San Marcos, Celaque, and Güisayote. Beans from over 20 farms are expected to be on the table.

The next day, the international attendees must choose which of the three regions interested them the most. They will then be taken to see farms and cooperatives there. Each option will take attendees to at least six farms, making it a busy second day.

Coffee cherry harvesting

Coffee cherries are harvested on Finca El Alto in San Marcos. Credit: San Marcos

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