New Reserve Lot Additions: Fabulous Coffees from Costa Rica and Honduras

By Evan Howe

An ambitious April of new coffee releases continues today with the addition of eight fabulous coffees to the Reserve Lot menu! While there is an incredibly broad spectrum of flavor profiles to explore in these latest coffees, all of them offer beautiful and unique expressions of plant genetics, processing, or microclimate. Some of these menu additions bear the names of farms and producers that have been well-loved fixtures of Passenger’s menu for many consecutive years, and some of them represent purchases from regions and producers that we are featuring on our menu for the very first time. All of these coffees were sourced from the 2021 harvest, meaning that all of them have been kept in pristine condition in Passenger’s off-site freezer facility since their original arrival to the States. We are incredibly proud to have the opportunity to roast and share these coffees with you. As a group, they are a fitting testament to the remarkable achievement of some of the most accomplished farmers currently producing coffee in Costa Rica and Honduras.

Costa Rica is a country of origin that has only very rarely been featured on Passenger’s menus until now. Thanks to an exciting new collaboration with the team at Selva Coffee, a specialty export operation based in the Tarrazu region, we have been introduced to many more coffees from Costa Rica and have been truly impressed by the quality of the lots we have tasted thus far. This particular release includes the first four coffees that we had the privilege of contracting with the support of the Selva team in 2021. Three of the coffees, from ambitious producer Roger Urena, are honey processed variety separations featuring Bourbon, SL28, and a Gesha/“Ethiopia” field blend. The fourth is a spectacular wet processed gesha from Ivan Gutierrez, a veteran of Costa Rican coffee production who recently founded a small, high elevation farm as a passion project and won the 2021 Costa Rican Cup of Excellence with a coffee from his inaugural harvest.

In contrast to Costa Rica, Honduras is a coffee producing country that has been well represented on Passenger’s menu for many years. The vast majority of these coffees have been purchased from a community of producers in Santa Barbara. Since the 2005 Cup of Excellence, the Santa Barbara region has enjoyed well-deserved international recognition for being the source of many of the most interesting, complex, and delicious coffees in Honduras. Two key families have been at the heart of this regional fame: the Paz family, who owns San Vicente, the company responsible for milling and exporting the coffees from the region, and the Moreno family, a farming family who has championed specialty coffee and the benefits it brings, encouraging many other producers in the region to begin producing specialty coffee over commodity coffee.

Coffees from legendary Santa Barbara producers Eulogio Martinez (of Los Yoyos fame) and Mario Moreno (of the aforementioned Moreno family) have been fixtures of Passenger’s Reserve Lot menu practically since our start as a roasting company. With the addition of Los Yoyos 2021 and Mario Moreno 2021, we continue that tradition with great pride. Our 2021 Santa Barbara selections are rounded out by two additional producers, Isaias Fernandez and Luis Delcid, that we have been aware of for some time but are featuring on the menu for the first time. As with Los Yoyos, our selection from Isaias Fernandez is an example of the parainema variety. Tasting these two coffees side by side is a fascinating exploration of this perennially divisive hybrid variety. While the Los Yoyos 2021 offers what to us is a delightful example of the classic parainema profile (extremely citrus forward with dynamic acidity), Isaias Fernadez’s 2021 parainema is quite different and comparatively nuanced (still clearly a parainema, but offering complex floral and tropical fruit qualities in a pleasingly balanced way). Last but certainly not least, we are very pleased to share a beautiful catuaí separation from producer Luis Delcid, offering a depth of sweetness and pleasantly fruity flavor profile that immediately charmed our team on the cupping table.

To learn more about these latest releases, click over to explore additional information and our tasting notes for each of the new coffees. We hope this latest menu release will offer enticing opportunities for exploration, while also perhaps facilitating a long overdue reunion with a favorite coffee from the past!

New Reserve Lot Additions: Fabulous Coffees from Costa Rica and Honduras