Martin Galeas, Honduras
Origin: Chaguite, Santiago de Puringla, La Paz, Honduras.
Producer: Martin Galeas
Farm: El Gravileo (5 hectares)
Notes: Juicy Apple, Caramel, Aero Bar
"On the peak of the mountain range Comayagua sits the small town of Chaguite, where Martin and other small producers grow amazing coffee. We are super happy to get a bit of this lot to share with you; the smooth chocolate and candy apple notes make it a hard cup for us to put down. Martin is the first producer in his region to fully process his own coffee, giving him increased control of quality, and better profits for his work. Semilla pays producers from Chaguite 5-6x more than local rates, allowing them to reinvest in their own farms, and afford a better quality of life for their families."
This coffee is coming from our friends in Montreal at Semilla. They’re a 2 person operation that works exclusively in Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras, Rwanda.
Semilla is incredibly intentional with their buying, and though they are bringing in beautiful coffees, their focus is on social and economical impact of where they purchase from. Their work in Honduras is especially meaningful as Canada has a spotty, at best, history with their involvement in Honduras politics and trade.
Brendan and Pat of Semilla work directly with Martin, who grows on land he inherited from his father(he has since purchased more) in the small town of Chaguite, which is part of the municipality Santiago de Puringla, in the department of La Paz. The town of Chaguite sits atop the peak of the mountain range Comayagua, where there are many small coffee producers growing on around 5 hectares of land.
Martin acts as the defacto leader of this small group of producers, as he was one of the first producers in this area to start processing his own coffee, seeing that it was one of the only ways he’d see enough profit from coffee to continue taking care of his family, grow his farm, and help his community.
Since 2020 when Semilla first started working with Martin and other growers in Chaguite and neighbouring community Selguapa they’ve offered prices 4-5x what the going rate for cherry and parchment was in the area. Something unheard of for many growers in this region at the time, as it was before the boom, and then drop in the market price of coffee recently.
In Brendan’s words
“As with Semilla’s work in the neighbouring community of Selguapa, our hope is to be able to purchase more coffee from Chaguite at prices that are not only sustainable but highly profitable, such that these coffee growers see their investment in coffee quality as a viable and desirable way to make a living.
Our belief is that we can redefine or reclaim the concept of foreign direct investment. Rather than the prevailing model, currently existing in Honduras and perpetuated by Canadian corporations, in which large businesses open their factories or mines in Honduras for the purposes of improving their profit margins and extracting immense wealth, our vision of foreign direct investment is one in which specialty roasters can work with us to send their money directly to small holder grower communities, without intermediaries, for use as they see fit
This is only the fourth harvest cycle in which members of the Chaguite community have sold their coffee as micro-lots, and the third time their coffees have ever been imported to North America. We have a long way to go, but thank you for being on the journey.”
Words from Martin directly.
“My father gave me as inheritance an area of land so I could start growing coffee. At the beginning I was using the area only for growing corn and beans, then little by little I went searching for other jobs and started earning money. With a lot of effort and work, I earned enough money to start growing coffee and to produce enough to start selling as a small producer. Back then I used to sell on cherry to a buyer of the zone.
I make sure to give always the best lifestyle and quality for my family by depending only with coffee. Recently I bought a depulper, hoping that this would help me facilitate the process and have a better income for my family.
I want to keep growing more coffee and sell excellent quality coffee. I want to have a better lifestyle for my home and family that lives with me.”
so, what does it taste like?
The other great thing about this coffee is that it’s delicious! Such a clean apple juicyness, delicious caramelly turbinado sugars, and fluffy aero milk chocolate sweetness.
Processing details: Cherries are harvested at peak ripeness by a team of 14 pickers peak ripeness and fermented over night before being floated to remove damaged or underripe seeds.
The cherries are depulped the next day and the resulting coffee is left to dry ferment for 18-24 hours. Coffee is then washed in clean water and dried on raised beds, inside solar dryers, for 15 days.