Melvin Alonso Honduras MicrolotHigher Grounds Trading
Region: Aldea Arenales, Santa María,
La Paz, Honduras
Flavors: stone fruit * pineapple * lavender
Elevation: 1500 meters
Best brewing: filter
Recommended ratio: 17:1
The COMSA Cooperative
Melvin Alonso is a member of the COMSA cooperative in Marcala, Honduras. He harvests his coffee from December to April, the coolest months of the year in that region. Harvest is completed entirely by hand, and cherries are selected at optimum ripeness.
“Starting in 2004 when I was 10 years old, on weekends and school breaks, I started helping out my father [Oscar Alonso] in the organic production of coffee in his farm Cual Bicicleta,” says Melvin. “With his support in 2008, I started my own plot of coffee land, implementing his philosophy and knowledge. His outlook on production has developed my way of thinking, and allowed me to grow as a person. In implementing his methodology I have developed my own technology in organic production, maintaining the same level of quality that has differentiated my father’s own production. This year, my coffee achieved very unique characteristics in flavour, acidity and aroma, indicative of the high altitude in which its grown and its care in processing for which Marcala has now become synonymous.
“I named my farm Californeo Jr. because of the production methods originally implemented by my father and replicated by me, and their ultimate results, as a legacy to carry on as a personal and family brand.
“Harvest is carried out between the months of December and February, cooler months, with shorter days and a time when the sun’s rays are softly and indirectly penterating through the shade canopy. Harvesting is conducted by hand , selecting the coffee fruit at its peak ripeness, when beans are fresh, firm and bright. This leads us to conduct three different pickings of a single plant over the course of the harvest season in order to obtain a superior quality coffee.
“Following harvesting, the coffee is wet milled. All the water and pulp that result as a byproduct of the process gets re-incorporated into the soils as prescribed by the technical advice of COMSA’s agronomists. Finally, the coffee gets sundried in patios. This whole process involves the collaboration and hired labour of local marcalans that with time-developed experience and care, allows for a strictly high quality coffee.”