High in the south-western mountain region Marcala - La Paz, in Honduras you can find a vibrant community farming humans — they also farm coffee. COMSA (Café Orgánico Marcala S.A) is an association of small-scale organic coffee producers dedicated to improving their community’s living conditions and the livelihood of generations to come. This summer we’re lucky enough to roast this truly inspirational group’s coffee. We’d like to introduce you to our new Single Origin, Honduras Marcala.
COMSA, was founded in 2001 when coffee prices were so low that most farmers had to abandon their land. There was no profit in harvesting crops and many migrated to other cities or to the USA in search of new ways of making a living. 60 of the producers who held their ground in Marcala banded together to form COMSA.
Their mission was, and still is, to grow quality organic coffee which in turn will transform the lives of their people. They teach a methodology that focuses on innovation and reflection, encouraging analysis before action - this is where the idea of ‘La Finca Humana’ (the human farm) comes in. COMSA believe that to generate the change their community needs they need to retrain the way they think. With a huge focus on education the group are working towards a future in Honduras where their children can flourish. It’s no surprise that since their humble beginnings COMSA member numbers have grown steadily and they are now 1200 strong.
Today the association organises trainings for their farmers to learn how they can improve crop quality, productivity (up to 20%) and they also make sure everyone is meeting the groups certification standards. By achieving these standards, Fairtrade, Organic and Womens Coffee to name a few, COMSA are able to a obtain much better price for their coffee in the market.
In 2013 COMSA initiated a gender equity program which aims to increase the amount of women employed in the production process creating equal social and economic opportunities. There are now 42 female members of COMSA. The group also works continually to find low-cost technologies that are easy to implement. The organisation’s soil fertility programme does laboratory analysis of soil samples taken on farm visits, these are then used to advise farmers which organic fertilisers, nutrients and minerals they need to improve the fertility of their soil. COMSA also organise farmer exchange visits to successful farms to share knowledge.
Cupping at COMSA headquarters
The majority of farmers that make up COMSA are indigenous Lenca and although their language has been lost, many traditional agricultural practices are now being maintained through their approach to modern-day organic farming. Lenca women often wear headscarfs in bright pitaya (dragonfruit) pink - the pitaya fruit is native to Central America - and for this reason we chose pink to represent our Marcala Single Origin.
A little more about the Single Origin below.
Flavour Profile - Toasted Barley, Wine & Toffee
Processing - Washed
Certifications - Biogro Organic & Fairtrade
This coffee has a light-medium roast profile thats suited to a V-60 or Chemex brewing method. Want to try it for yourself? Head to our website.