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Finca Azul Esmeralda

Nestled in the mountains of the Sierra of the Department of La Paz, in the municipality of Marcala, is the Azul Esmeralda Farm. This area has rich and fertile soils with the ideal climate for coffee production.

  • Farm Finca Azul Esmeralda
  • Varietal Icatu, IH90, Lempira
  • Process Yellow Honey
  • Altitude 1,600 – 1,600 metres above sea level
  • Town / City La Paz
  • Region Marcala
  • Owner Gerardo Peñalva
  • Tasting Notes Chamomile, Key Lime, Kiwi
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Finca Azul Esmeralda

Francisco Peñalva and Rodolfo Peñalva immigrated from Spain in the mid-1850s to Honduras in order to begin growing coffee. By 1889, they finally acquired their own farm in the village of Santa Cruz. They learned the ways of the land and passed their knowledge onto their children, including Virgilio Peñalva, one of their sons.

Virgilio soon married in 1914 and had seven children. The farm, in the mid-1900s, was producing primarily Bourbon and Typica. Coffee processing was quite manual, which included taking the dried cherries, placing them into a hole, and grinding them with a round stone to remove the husk. Coffee was traded locally or to El Salvador at this time. Don Antonio, one of Virgilio’s sons, took over the farm and had six children. Gerardo Peñalba is one of these descendants, currently running and managing his family farm, learning the trade from his father, Don Antonio, throughout his childhood. The farm, over the decades, grew to encompass not only coffee, but natural areas, springs, and forests.

About Honduras

Throughout the past century, coffee has historically been one of Honduras’ leading exports (alongside bananas), and since the mid-2000s, total annual coffee production has grown in leaps and bounds. During the 2009/10 crop year, Honduras produced approximately 3.6 million bags of Arabica coffee (already a big increase over 1999/2000). By 2014/2015, the country had become Central America’s top grower (and number 7 in the world), with a yield of over 5 million bags (all Arabica varietals). With the highest production per capita in the world and various business drivers keeping the industry growing, experts agree that it wouldn’t be surprising for the country to reach 8 million bags in the foreseeable future. All in all, the story is clear: Honduras is an excellent coffee-producing country with a plethora of untapped potential for specialty lots.