Producer: Juan Cristobal Cruz
Farm’s name: Manasapa.
Location: Sequire, Yamaranguila, Intibucá
Altitude: From 1600m to 1740m above sea level.
Harvest time: Mid December to March
Varietals: Yellow Catuai.
Finca Manasapa is a 19 years old farm owned by Juan Cristobal Cruz, who first planted 3 Manzanas in 1998. The farm is located at the heart of a forest at an altitude that allows exceptional conditions such as holding humidity even during summer to keep the coffee’s trees in lively conditions.
Juan Cristobal Cruz learned about growing coffee while he was young, he used to go to his grandparents’ farm and help them to pick coffee. His family had a traditional farm, but there Juan noticed that coffee could be an income source for his family. Juan Cristobal, belongs to the 3rd generation of coffee growers.
The production of speciality coffee started at Finca Manasapa because of the recognition given by COMSA to some coffees produced by Juan Cristobal about 5 to 6 years ago. Juan Cristobal told us that this recognition of the quality keeps his motivations the whole year during in the maintenance of the farm,
the harvest season and when processing his coffee, always trying to improve. Much more attention to details is in place at the farm when picking, de-pulping, washing and drying the speciality micro lots.
For Juan Cristobal, Finca Manasapa needs more dedication in the work done because its yield entitles the opportunity of being identified and classified as speciality coffee.
At Finca Mansapa the washed processing method starts from only picking the ripe cherries on the first day, de-pulping it the next day, then leave it to rest for at least 6 hours before it is washed at the end of the day.
By sunset time the wet parchment is laid down on the raised beds to start releasing the water during the night and to be ready for the first sun light the next morning. If the weather is stable without raining, it normally takes between 8 to 10 days for the coffee to be dried in favourable settings.
In the morning until 11 am the clouds protect the coffee from receiving direct sunlight, the heat increases gradually between 13:00 to 14:00 hours, and then the clouds continue filtering the sun light on the rest of the day, in this way the drying process of the coffee is extended.
Once it is dried, the coffee is packed and load into Juan Cristobal’s car to be delivered at COMSA’s dry mill, which takes about 2.5 hours’ drive.
Juan Cristobal’s family economy is diversified between the yield of his farm and a family restaurant located in La Esperanza’s downtown. Therefore, he splits time between the farm and the restaurant, although he likes most to be at the farm sharing time with the people and nature.
Fortunately, about his journey as a coffee producer Juan said “I’ve always being cautious on my decisions and I’ve not had anything to regret from the farm. Particularly, some good times where when the coffee prices went up and I had a significant return on the initial investment that I made on the farm”.
For Juan Cristobal, nowadays the prices for conventional coffees are a negative pressure for the finance and proper maintenance of a farm. So, on his view the production of speciality coffee represents a viable market to invest his resources and he is committed to keep improving. Juan Cristobal said he values information exchange as it can be used to enhance the work that they are already doing at the farm.
• The farm Manasapa shares the name of the mountain where it is located, this area is a reserve of birds and other native fauna as deer and squirrels.
• Juan Cristobal’s appreciation of his coffee: “Normally I get a chocolate mouthfeel in my coffee and this is one the strong characteristics that many people can identify when drinking the coffee from Finca Manasapa.”
• The farm income source has been diversified as Juan Cristobal additionally has planted other fruit trees, the plantain so far one of the most relevant.
Tasting notes; What a way to kick of the New Year a yellow Cataui micro lot that is stunning. Notes of orange peel, red apple, brown sugar and cola – roasted medium