Jennifer was invited by Allegro Coffee Company to tag along on an origin trip to Honduras. Here’s her recap of the week she spent there.
It was the end of the trip, and we were saying our goodbyes. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” I heard myself say. After all, a week-long trip to Honduras to meet coffee farmers isn’t something that’s offered to me very often. As I watched Allegro coffee buyer Christy Thorns swerve calmly and efficiently through the Tegucigalpa airport I realized that, for her, this Honduran adventure was a fairly regular occurrence.Over the span of a week, I watched a coffee cupping competition, observed Honduran farmers attend a series of talks to help them combat leaf rust, a plant disease that could potentially decimate their crops, visited coffee farms and mills, attended an awards ceremony and happily received a dust bath in the back of a pickup truck. That’s the short of it.
The long-tail effect of this trip, however, is that when I grind and brew my coffee beans each morning, I’ll remember those shade-grown coffee farms. I’ll remember how a juicy coffee cherry was plucked off of a branch and pulled apart to show me the viscous outer covering of the bean that later turns into a parchment (“Nature’s plastic wrap,” we joked.) that protects the bean. I’ll remember the flurry of hands as they sorted beans running by on a conveyor belt. And I’ll never forget the faces of the hardworking farmers that choose to grow organic coffee, despite the extra steps they have to take to do it.And even though it was a short, fleeting moment, I’ll fondly recall the quiet 10 minutes that we spent sipping coffee served us by a farmer’s wife after touring their farm. It was sweetened with a heavy hand, as many beverages offered to me in Honduras were, but it was hot and freshly made. There is something very “all is right in the world” about enjoying coffee on an actual coffee farm. On the farm in Honduras or not, it’s a feeling I’ll revisit whenever I can.