For the longest time, Honduras has been an underdog in the specialty coffee scene, overshadowed by other countries in the minds of coffee lovers around the world. Spirit Animal Coffee is here to change that. Working alongside local growers, Spirit Animal Coffee sells specialty-grade and organic coffee beans shade-grown in high-altitude Honduran farms. All overlooked by independent farmers whose coffee-growing experience goes back generations. —
The company is dedicated to getting specialty beans in the hands of consumers without adopting some of the unsavory practices that have become an industry-standard in other markets. As the company’s website explains:
“Reversing the industry-standard supply chain economy, we pay fair wages to growers and even re-invest our own profits back into our farms, freeing our farmers to do what they do best: diligent and meticulous, quality organic growing.”
This dedication is reflected in how they process and distribute beans to consumers. All Spirit Coffee Animal farms work with micro-lots, never valuing quantity over quality. And once harvested, the beans are processed at their facilities located in Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras. Beans are then shipped to the US via air freight.
Sending beans by air is an improvement over the traditional approach of using sea routes. Instead of spending weeks deteriorating in a musty container, coffee shipped by air can reach the final consumer within days of being processed. Shipping by air also allows the company to ensure perfect humidity and temperature controls during transport, further preserving the quality of their various coffee types.
What makes specialty beans “special”?
If you are new to exploring different coffee flavors or have never checked a coffee bean taste chart, you might be inclined to dismiss the idea of “specialty coffee” as another empty marketing buzzword. But that is far from the truth. There are very specific requirements any coffee must meet before being allowed to use the “specialty” label, and these were put in place precisely to prevent the term from losing its meaning when used in descriptions of coffee beans.
To be classified as “specialty”, coffee must come from Arabica beans, be strictly hand-picked, score at least 80 points on the cupping scale, and more. Any type of coffee in the coffee flavor wheel must meet the same standards to earn the specialty classification.
Scoring 80 or above on the cupping scale is the hardest part, as the score is determined not only by a visual inspection of the beans but also by a series of flavor tests. These tests are performed under strict conditions by professional coffee samplers — called Q-graders — who give the coffee a score based on ten different categories. Said categories include aroma, acidity, flavor uniformity, and sweetness, to name a few. These apply to all coffee flavor profiles.
The cupping scale is a comprehensive standard that has been proven accurate even when Q-graders had their skills tested in double-blind tests. And it is to meet these standards and satisfy consumers that the independent farmers collaborating with Spirit Animal Coffee go through such great lengths to grow their beans in near-perfect conditions.
Growing excellent Honduran coffee
As mentioned, Spirit Animal Coffee is committed to putting quality over quantity when producing its coffee. As the company explains:
Our farms are all located at high altitudes of around 5,000ft, where trees’ slower maturation allows more time for their fruit to reach optimal sweetness. Just as careful in our harvest, we choose only the top 1% of beans, measuring the cherries’ sweetness with a refractometer and hand-plucking only the fruits that qualify between 18 and 20 degrees Brix.
When drying the beans, each is carefully monitored to reach optimal condition without damage to flavor and integrity. Farmers dry beans using either sun-driven techniques or the more standardized washed process. This careful production process is all part of the “flavorful science” that produces the great results the company is known for. More information on coffee and Spirit Animal Coffee’s process can be found on https://spiritanimalcoffee.com/blogs/spirit-animal-blog/flavorful-science.
Name: Spirit Animal Coffee
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Organization: Spirit Animal Coffee
Release ID: 89049012