De La Finca Marcala: Organic Honey Anaerobic

Country: Honduras

Region: La Paz

Farm: De La Finca Marcala Farm Project

Process: Experimental Red Honey Anaerobic

Variety: Yellow and Red Catuai

Harvest: December - March

Altitude: 1450 metres

Raisinet, green apple, sweet lemon and brown sugar

Reminiscent of Raisinet candy, this Honduran coffee from De La Finca Coffee's Marcala Farm Project gives us brown sugar sweetness, with subtle wine notes hinting towards the anaerobic processing. A top note of succulent green apple provides a balanced malic acidity for a clear, bright and well-rounded cup.

Honey processed coffees combine the best flavor attributes from a washed coffee and a natural coffee into one: fresh coffee cherries are de-pulped, but allowed to dry without washing, utilizing less water. Some of the fruit remains, but not nearly as much as in the natural process. With most of the cherry gone, the remaining golden mucilage is reminiscent of honey, hence the name. Because the amount of mucilage left before drying can vary by producer, terminology was developed to describe honey processed coffees by their drying color: white, yellow, red, or black. Coffees with less mucilage removed during the depulping phase tend to dry more slowly and are darker in color while coffees with more mucilage removed at depulping dry faster and are lighter in color. Honey processed coffees tend to be more complex than washed coffees and less fruit-forward than naturals. The anaerobic process provides a high level of control of the sugars, temperature, pressure, pH and time. The sweet and fruity juices from the mucilage are pushed into the parchment during fermentation, yielding exciting and unexpected flavors.

We were introduced to this coffee by our friends at De La Finca Coffee Importers - a direct-trade coffee importer founded by fifth-generation coffee farmer, Nelson Raul Amador. Nelson started De La Finca with the goal of eliminating the middlemen between producers and consumers;

“Instead of seeing coffee pass through as many as 6-8 hands between farmers and consumers (as is usual in the coffee industry), I make genuine, direct connections between coffee roasters, consumers, and coffee producers, like my family.”

- Nelson Raul Amador, Founder of De La Finca Coffee Importers


In the fall of 2019, De La Finca purchased a 9-acre property in Marcala, La Paz (the specialty coffee hub of their home country of Honduras) as an experimental specialty farm. While their family's farms are mainly located three hours away in the Comayagua region, De La Finca's property in Marcala allows for research and experimentation with various coffee production and processing methods without interfering with production on their family's farms.

As they grow, De La Finca intends to use the Marcala, La Paz property as an example farm, implementing and teaching best industry practices. By training other producers in what they're learning in terms of production and operations, and offering workers higher wages and year-round employment, De La Finca is leading by example to positively impact and transform the specialty coffee industry in Honduras.