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Subscription Spotlight: Pineda Pack

This blog is the first entry in what will be an ongoing series highlighting a unique group of special-release coffees. Before making their way to other avenues, these especially radiant and limited coffees will be available to our coffee subscription humans; this new perk allows us to offer a special thank you to all our immensely important subscribers!

Introduction aside, let’s get to what’s important, the coffee and the humans behind it.

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Over the last several years, we’ve been lucky to develop a relationship with Alma Pineda. The matriarch of a talented coffee family (her husband Evin Moreno also a prolific producer), Alma runs her own, small farm in Honduras’ Santa Barbara department.* This year in particular though, Alma and her colleagues have decided to push the boundaries of her Paraneima coffees.

In the past, Alma has focused her resources into producing delicious washed coffees. Washed in this context refers to the coffee’s processing, i.e., the process in which the coffee seed undergoes from coffee cherry to bean. To wash process coffee is to rid the coffee seed of any residual mucilage entirely, i.e., the fruit sediment remaining from the coffee cherry. Asking what if..., Alma decided to venture down other routes opposed to simply continuing to fully wash all her coffee.

To walk us down the two innovative routes Alma took, we had Xavier (co-owner and green buyer) write up his first-hand account of Alma’s work:

Experimental, aka Weirdo Fermento--

The Weirdo Fermento's impetus sprawled out from a conversation between Evin Moreno, Alma’s husband, and Benjamin Paz. Their question: What happens if you bag up a cargo of cherries and dunk it into cold water? Further, what happens after milling them? Paranima’s profile verges on the bright and usually yield citrus/lime notes when washed. Understanding this trend allowed Alma to imagine where they could take her coffee with experimentation. After 2 days floating in water, the coffee was pulped and left in its own mucilage for up to 72 hours. This experimental semi-washing developed an aroma reminiscent of rose water and pineapple. The final result, a really clean and complex cup that exhibits a cornucopia of fruity depth.”

Honey--

“No, Alma Honey is not the follow up to Pablo Honey (though this coffee certainly is a jam). Much like Weirdo, Alma Honey was born out of a desire to push the boundaries of this lot-- to see what other flavors they could muster from this Melado, Honey process. The result, amplified sweetness, which would usually be expected from a natural process, remaining balanced with creaminess and floral notes. This year, Alma and Evin produced only about a bag’s worth of raw coffee. But with how well this coffee is cupping, we’re eager to see them produce more honey processed lots in the future.”

 

*Santa Barbara is an area near and dear to as its the home to other partner/friends of ours, such as Benjamin Paz and Denis Enamorado.

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Due to both coffees having an experimental nature for Alma, as X mentioned, she only produced a tiny yield. We’re proud to have secured one bag of each (only approx 150 lbs), and we’re now excited to share them with you.

Whether you sign-up for a subscription or risk waiting for them to hit our website next week, make sure you give yourself the gift of tasting these special-release micro-lots!

Finding the Line: A Conversation with Jourdon Gullett

With our special-release El Brujo live and decked out in commemorative artwork, we recently sat down with one of the artists involved in the project, illustrator Jourdon Gullett, and talked about his process:

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Humbly Gullett described himself and his El Brujo work, on Instagram, as “a dude and his drawing.” It’s evident to us though that his El Brujo illustration is more than just a drawing. The artwork’s style makes it undeniably a full expression from an immensely talented artist.

With Jourdon back at Metric West Fulton roasting works, we discussed his artwork and style more in-depth. Quickly the conversation digressed (from his approximate 6-years as a professional artist) to a slew of topics varying in seeming relevance. Our conversation was a perfect analog to how he described his process. It was free-flowing; it was a stream-of-conscience. From the exterior, it may have felt incidental, but from within it, everything was perfectly in-line.

Jourdon, wearing Uprise skate merch, referenced his youth on a skateboard. He mentioned his younger self’s mantra of “skate fast” and how it influences his work. On a board, there’s little room to think. If you do too much, you wipe out (something I have personal expertise in from visits to the skatepark). This concept of just doing the work, operating instinctively, lives in Gullett’s El Brujo project. Gullet found balance under an active pen layering smoke and abstract shapes to anchor negative space and image, in-process.

As he sipped his go-to coffee drink (a mug of coffee with a pinch of cream and sugar), we continued our conversation. Jourdon’s calm energy alluded that there’s “so much going all the time” that he finds refuge in the simpler things these days. Whether it’s camping with the family, skating casually, or working on his “damn van,” he finds joy in the moments away from the everyday chaos. Perhaps intentional or not, this sentiment is in his El Brujo work. Amongst the seeming maximalism, there is a specific logic, a simple stream-of-conscience of a talented dude, finding balance.

Metric x Hopewell: Deluxe, an Imperial Coffee Stout.

We are (and have been) big admirers of Hopewell appreciating how they balance quality and design harmoniously with their small-ness. So when they reached out several months ago, we jumped at the opportunity to collaborate on a coffee beer.

The collaboration began with a cupping. Xavier, Metric co-owner and project parley, wanted Hopewell to choose the coffee via a blind taste test ensuring that the brewers had an intimate relationship with the coffee and its flavor profile. With six coffees on the table, the consensus pointed to incorporating a balanced, clean Honduras lot: Beneficio San Vicente.

From there, Hopewell created a cold concentrate that they incorporated into an imperial stout base. Then, they steeped coarsely ground San Vicente in the beer yielding a sweet, but balanced brew with notes of fudge and caramel rounding out the beer. 

For a visual overview, check out Potluck Creative's well-crafted synopsis: