Donaldo Gonzalez Fiallos is the general manager and one of the founding members of the Aruco cooperative, as well as owning and managing his own farm, Sol Naciente, in the Los Limos area of Corquin, Copan.
The 7 hectare farm sits at 1250masl and is mostly planted with red and yellow catuai, but he has also started planting Lempira, Parainema and IHCAFE90. After noticing that the red and yellow catuai cherries taste very different we decided to compare their sugar and acid levels and their cup profiles. Interestingly, the yellow cataui cherries were much higher in sugar and acid, with sugar readings on average of 27%, which is extremely high. This sweetness and acidity persists in the cup and gives a really unique flavour profile, full of ripe pineapple. Falcon and Aruco have selected this variety for selection and reproduction to pass on to other producers to compare the results elsewhere in the area in order to determine whether it's uniqueness is the variety, the climate conditions or the combination of all of these aspects.
All the processing for the ML’s takes place at the Aruco mill to centralise and have greater control over the process to create consistent procedures but also to reduce the risk on the producer. The mill is also at 800masl which gives a drier more stable climate to dry the coffee compared to up at the farms where the weather can be less predictable.
The coffee will be delivered to the mill where they assess the cherry and decide on the process for the coffees depending on space and what the producer has done already. The cherry is cleaned and washed and then floated to remove any immatures.
Then it is placed into barrels that are sealed to create an environment without oxygen for the cherry to continue ferment and macerate in the barrels for different times. In the barrel the temperature is monitored and kept around 22-25°C. The coffee is then taken to the beds where it is dried for around 20 -30 days depending on weather and frequency of turning.