HONDURAS • KATIA DUKE
This is year five working with Katia Duke! She has once again surprised me with her innovative experiments in fermentation, varietals, and methods for drying cherries. Her approach is unique as it pairs the institutional knowledge of multigenerational farming with a high level of technical expertise. Given she has a degree in Agronomy from the prestigious San Morano University, her San Isidro farm maintains an exacting precision at every single stage from crop through processing and milling.
For this year's harvest, we have a very special 'microorganism' processing. To quote Katia: "The nature of this experiment is based on the variables of temperature, fermentation times, and the addition of a 'broth of microorganisms' from our [farm's] mountain. In the initial stages, we rely on local bacteria and yeasts, for their metabolic processes". This unique-to-place mixture, known as mossto, breaks down the fruit cherry and fuels fermentations. As Katia explains, "we measure PH in intervals until it is ready for washing". Coffee is then "placed on African beds to be exposed to the sun and the air flow for 25 days".
The more things change with Katia’s approach to processing, the more clarity and sweetness we find in the cup. This year, we again have all those deep and gooey flavours of fig and caramel but with even more satisfying citrus with orange flavours cascading into zippy lemon. The finish features pleasingly notes of red plum and abundance of caramelized sugars.
Orange Marmalade & Sticky Fig Pudding.
Copán Ruinas, Copán.
Direct with help from Ally.