Orlando Arita Honduras
Producer: Orlando Arita
Farm Name: Finca Arimel
Elevation: 1,600 masl
Location: Guisayote, Ocotepeque, Honduras
Variety: Catuai, Pacas, Bourbon
Process: Anaerobic Fermentation
Certifications: Fair Trade, Rain Forest Alliance
Orlando started the Finca Arimel close to 30 years ago and since has been a pioneer in specialty coffees in Honduras. He has participated and won the cup of excellence in the past and continues to win accolades for his coffees year after year. Orlando’s focus on quality is easily appreciated by a look at his farm and his constant experimentation with various processing methods. His learning has been a continuous process including great opportunities to learn from Japanese, Salvadorean, and other international coffee processing experts.
He is also one of the first Honduran farmers to have a zero waste farm, where any waste produced by coffee growing is recycled in some way and reused to add value. He recycles all the water from his wet mill and ensures it returns to the earth without any particles, the Cascara is either composted for organic fertilizer, mixed with mountain microorganisms to prevent coffee leaf rust or carefully washed and dried to be taken as Cascara tea.
All of Orlando’s coffees are by his small team of pickers who have worked with him for an average of 14 years. During this time he has been able to educate and train this team to ensure cherries are only picked once they’ve reached their optimal point of maturity. This careful attention to detail, is the first step in creating this coffee’s unique flavor.
This coffee is one of his latest experiments with anaerobic fermentation. Usually a coffee cherry should be processed within hours of picking to avoid excessive fermentation that would then render the coffee sour or too “funky.” Orlando’s anaerobic process, takes those same cherries and locks them in a water filled Drum for 72 hours. All the while monitoring the Ph and temperature to ensure a slower fermentation allowing those fruit sugars to breakdown without leaving a vinegar taste and transforming the flavor qualities of the coffee while complementing a full rich body.
After about 72 hours, this coffee is then de-pulped and laid out to dry on raised African beds for 20-25 days. Being piled up each night, and spread out each day. The care given to these beans by Don Orlando and his family is second to none. Caring for these beans throughout the drying process, the coffee is turned often by hand and then further picked for defects while it is drying, by the time it is ready for export this coffee is pristine.