Drinking Honduras coffee for a good cause
A friend of a friend recently came back to Springfield after a mission trip to Honduras. She brought back a pound of Honduran coffee she picked up while in Honduras, and my friend passed it to me to try it out. The whole concept of selling origin coffee to benefit a charity in the country of origin is not new, and every once in a while I hear about ministries and charities selling coffee from their country of choice to support their cause and efforts in that country, but this is the first time I’ve ever got my hands on one of these local charity-produced coffee roasts.
This coffee company does not hide the fact that its coffee sales help support a children’s charity in Honduras called World Gospel Outreach — it’s stated on their coffee bag and very visible on their website. I think it would be an interesting marketing discussion as to whether it is more advantageous to promote the quality or specialty natures of the coffee or the charitable use of the coffee proceeds, but in that regard, this organization has done a good job of promoting both well without going over the top either way. Their website says that the coffee is grown, harvested, prepared, dried and roasted in Honduras on the property of the charity, called Rancho Ebenezer, where “since 1996, [they] have been feeding, clothing, educating and housing children with nowhere else to go.”
This coffee is called Honduras Cloud Forest Coffee, and it’s touted as high altitude, shade-grown coffee. The website says the coffee is sourced from the central mountains of Francisco Morazan, Honduras. It comes in a colorful, well-designed bag and the whole bean coffee itself was sealed separately in an internal bag in an attempt to retain freshness. Out of the bag, the visible quality of the roast appeared slightly darker than I typically like my coffee, and there was a slight oily sheen on the beans, but the oily nature wasn’t excessive, and overall the beans, based on a visible inspection, weren’t overroasted or burnt.
I brewed up a French press of the coffee over the weekend. I honestly didn’t have high hopes because I didn’t expect these coffee beans to be very fresh. It was a good start that they came whole bean — at least they didn’t grind them up in Honduras (or wherever they were roasted) and destroy any chance of retaining freshness. Fortunately, there was a bloom when the grounds came into contact with the water, which means that these beans were fresh and not stale. That was my first hopeful sign that this cup of coffee wouldn’t be too bad.
The final brew wasn’t bad at all, either. It made a good cup of coffee. Again, I didn’t know what to expect, and I’ve had all kinds of coffees, and I honestly wasn’t expecting much out of this coffee, but I actually liked it. Again, it was roasted darker than I typically prefer my coffees, but it wasn’t overdone. At one point, I told my wife that any average coffee drinker who drinks what’s generally available on the market these days would find this coffee worth drinking.
If you’re interested in helping this organization with its ministry to abandoned children while drinking a coffee that is worth a try, you can buy it online at the Honduras Cloud Forest Coffee website. There’s some basic information about the children the ministry serves and an online store that offers free shipping. They also have a coffee club where you can receive a two pound or five pound shipment of their coffee at regular intervals. There are also links to the World Gospel Outreach site where you can learn more about their work in Honduras and their organization in general.