COFFEE SCORE: 85
Finca Liquidámbar is located at an altitude of 1,550 meters above sea level in the mountainous region of San José, 20 kilometers from the city of Marcala, in the Montecillo mountain range—one of the privileged regions for specialty coffee production in Central America, with a highly distinguished Designation of Origin. The estate has been cultivated by the Gonzalez-Carrillo family for over a century, and the current owner is Roberto Rene Gonzalez.
Roberto was one of the first in his community to obtain a university degree. After graduating with a degree in business administration, Roberto returned home to manage RAOS and assist his family in managing the coffee farm. Roberto is currently working to have 20 hectares of his estate formally recognized as a natural reserve. The goal is for the reserve to become a tourist destination in the area. Finca Liquidámbar provides year-round employment for 7 people and employs an additional 30 people during the harvest season. Roberto, his wife Odalma, and their two children collaborate with local schools and organizations to improve roads and organize activities for the youth in the community.
This innovative process involves placing ripe coffee cherries in a sealed tank before pulping to isolate oxygen and enhance the controlled fermentation process, allowing only gases to be released. After 25 to 30 hours, the cherries are pulped. Subsequently, for drying, they are placed in a greenhouse for 4 days, followed by African beds for 12-18 days at a temperature of 21 degrees Celsius.
In this process, fermentation is a chemical reaction. The combination of yeast, bacteria, and other microorganisms causes the breakdown of matter. Typically, the substances being broken down are sugars. In simpler terms, fermentation is a natural change that occurs when sugar and water come together, and coffee cherries contain both of these substances.
RAOS is a smallholder coffee cooperative located in the city of Marcala, La Paz, Honduras, nestled along the Montecillos Mountain Range. It was born as a non-profit organization, with the main objective of improving the economic, social, and cultural conditions of its members by means of selling organic coffee and other products. Since 1996, Raos has emerged as a model for economic development in the region, driven by 16 men and four women - organic coffee farmers. Legally constituted as a cooperative in 1997, they were Fair Trade certified in 1998, the same year RAOS exported their first 36 bags of coffee - 69 kg each - destined for Germany, identifying as the pioneering cooperative of organic coffee production in Honduras.