Organic Apex Karla Portillo Honduras MicrolotHigher Grounds Trading
Good Food Award WINNER 2022!
strawberry-rhubarb * streusel * velvety
Location: Finca Planeta Verde, El Cerrón, Marcala, Honduras
Elevation: 1598 meters
Best brewing: Clever dripper
Recommended ratio: 17:1
Meet Karla in the video below! See transcript for English translation.
00:00 Hello friends, my name is Karla Portillo.
00:04 I am an organic, specialty coffee producer.
00:08 I like to work in this area because ever since I was a little girl I have been brought up in the world of coffee production.
00:14 I prepare coffee microlots through drying and honey processing methods
00:20 I do this because the coffee improves its attributes and the result is a high quality coffee.
00:30 Coffee is passion. Coffee is love.
00:32 Our farm focuses on taking care of the environment, nature and birds.
00:36 I hope you can enjoy this coffee and that we can maintain this connection so that we can meet again.
The COMSA Cooperative
Karla's farm, Planeta Verde, was born on June 15, 2015, conceived as a family project with the clear objective to process high quality organic coffee in harmony with nature, so that the person that consumes it can enjoy the true flavor of coffee.
Karla’s family had already planted coffee in the farm, as most families in their vicinity. The area was known for excellent quality due to the prevalence of traditional and exotic varieties such as Bourbon, Catuaí and others. However, because of climate change, plagues and other diseases drastically reduced production for these traditional cultivars. They were led to plant Icatú, that has proved to be strong to diseases and has maintained cup quality.
Karla Patricia is a third generation coffee farmer, and the accumulated experience of generations is manifested in the quality of her coffee. The family considers coffee growing to be very rewarding. "How motivating it is," they said, "to feel the breeze at the foot of the mountain, to enjoy nature’s beauty, listening to birdsong and see animals such as squirrels side by side with coffee trees. The experience is unmatched."
During the 2016-2017 harvest, Karla, with guidance from COMSA, began to work with specialty coffees, specializing in the production of honey and natural coffees. The processing of these types of coffees is almost an artform, becoming a delicate labor of balancing the elements so that the profile of every batch is almost impossible to replicate. Even if they apply the same process to the same coffee from the same trees, they are always surprised by a different product, but never an inferior quality.
Honey process // The process begins during harvest, selecting cherries during their optimal ripeness. Coffee is then further sorted in a sieve, to ensure that before the coffee gets pulped, no damaged cherries enter the batch. Once selected, the coffee is depulped, ensuring the equipment is properly calibrated and clean. Once depulped, the coffee is fermented, controlling time and temperature. Once the desired level of fermentation is reached, the coffee is rinsed and placed in sieves to be dried in shade until the honeyed parchment coffee reaches 12% moisture. The drying process takes anywhere between 9 to 12 days depending on the climate conditions and temperature.