Visiting Finca Salomé is a completely unique experience. For starters, there are kids everywhere. Virgilio and Salomé Reyes have more than 60 grandchildren and great-grandchildren living with them on their farm, and the kids are quick to pile in the back of a pickup truck, their grandmother riding shotgun up front, while we tour the steep hills of the farm.
As much as we love the kids though, we’re here for the coffee, and their Bourbon coffee in particular. The Reyes maintain some of the only remaining old-growth Bourbon trees in this coffee-growing enclave in north-western Honduras, and we were thrilled to find them. They've been farming here since 1960, and have been stewards of these trees for nearly six decades.
At one point, Bourbon trees were planted all over Latin America. It’s an ancient cultivar that was first grown in the French department of Réunion, an island in the Indian Ocean that was known as Île Bourbon before 1789. (Hence the name Bourbon.) Eventually though, disease and pests, as well as the introduction of higher-yielding coffee varieties, decimated these trees across Honduras and elsewhere.
Another issue: Like most people, coffee producers can be susceptible to trends. A new variety will do well at competitions like the Cup of Excellence, and suddenly producers rush to convert their farms to new varieties that may (or may not) offer better returns in the market.
So the Reyes’ trees aren’t trendy, but they do offer a completely delicious cup. This First Batch offer, Finca Salomé, has notes of honeycrisp apple, marzipan, and cantaloupe, with an amazing whipped cream finish. It’s a complex, delicate coffee, and a wonderful example of what Bourbon trees can produce when treated with tender loving care.
At Sightglass, we believe that slow-and-steady produces some pretty amazing results, and we’re honored to work with the Reyes in this long term endeavor.