In the second week of March 2020 the founder of Repetition Coffee, Amy Pope, had an incredible opportunity to travel to Honduras alongside Joe Marrocco of the German coffee trading company List + Beisler. The sole purpose of this trip was to drive a circle around Honduras, stopping only in small coffee producing villages; this was Amy’s first time traveling specifically for the purpose of finding coffee producers focused on ecological farming practices. And boy, you better bet she found what she was looking for! From the moment she stepped off the airplane and hopped into one of two minivans used for the journey, the vibrancy and heart of this country were on full display. Beautiful lush jungles, roadside stands bursting with fresh tropical fruits and cold coconuts, and hosts that went above and beyond by throwing surprise dinner parties. It would be remiss of us not to acknowledge the complicated history of Honduras, such as the night curfews that were in place, but the majority of this trip was spent in the countryside with farmers and producers, far from the bustle and immersed in the beauty of the land.
The 18 Conejo – Dulce Marien Contreras Co-op is the first biodynamic farm in Honduras and the second in all of Latin America. Many of the original members were victims of domestic violence, and the Co-op started as a way to get women out of dangerous environments by giving them a safe place to stay, with an opportunity to become entrepreneurs. The founding ethos of the Co-op centered on the idea of developing an association that nurtured women in leadership roles and protected human rights, all while placing utter importance on having producers that share in agricultural practices that are nice to the environment. The women believe in these four tenants: LOVE- of human life, SOLIDARITY- we are all responsible to bring love and to be of service, HARMONY- necessary to respect the dynamic equilibrium in nature, and JUSTICE- the ethical fight for the life of all sentient beings. It was quite obvious when they started growing coffee plants in alignment with their ethical values that it had to be the biodynamic way.
The difference between biodynamics and organic deals with humidity, temperature, and weather – biodynamic is all about adding vitality to the soil. An incredibly rigid calendar system is used to determine when to apply different processes and the positioning of the planets on any given day assist in the decision-making. The biology and health of the soil will inherently affect and measure the quality of the coffee that the plants are able to produce. If nothing else, the principles of biodynamic farming always value qualitative product over quantitative. We had a fantastic local artist named Molly Murphy create a beautiful label for this coffee that gave a nod to its roots. The rabbit references the 18 Conejo Co-op while the cow horns and plants with numbers directly reference specific biodynamic practices with items such as 502 yarrow flower, 503 chamomile, 504 nettle, 505 oak bark, 506 dandelion, and 507 valerian flowers. You may easily read more information on biodynamic soil should you so choose!
This is our first ever offering from Honduras, and Amy was so impressed with her visit that she purchased the entirety of this particular lot- so you won't find this specific coffee anywhere else! We are honored and excited to offer this coffee, and we hope that you can appreciate all of the hard work and dedication that went from growth, harvest, roast, to cup.