Release #12: Los Yoyos 2019
At this stage, the story of Eulogio Martinez and his farm Finca Los Yoyos is well known to many specialty coffee industry professionals and coffee enthusiasts alike. Here is a brief re-telling
Some years ago, Eulogio Martinez, a coffee farmer from the Santa Barbara region in Honduras, was in the market for coffee seeds, specifically seeds of the Pacas variety, a dwarf mutation of Bourbon that is widely planted throughout the Santa Barbara region. Due to the fact that there were no Pacas seeds available at the store when he stopped in, Eulogio went home with some “mystery seeds” that he expected to be of the Pacamara variety. Benjamin Paz, whose family owns San Vicente, the exporter and community hub that has been chiefly responsible for connecting Santa Barbara producers with international specialty coffee buyers, heard about Eulogio’s mystery coffee and asked if he could taste it. Upon cupping the alleged Pacamara from Los Yoyos, Benjamin noted that the coffee possessed a truly unique flavor profile with intense citric acidity and unusual fruited qualities. From the beginning, the coffee (which was soon nicknamed “pacaweirdo”) was incredibly divisive on the cupping table. Some tasters found it to be extraordinary and delicious while others judged the coffee to be highly unpleasant, if not defective. Somewhat on a whim, Benjamin Paz decided to enter the coffee in the 2015 Honduran Cup of Excellence competition, a rigorous examination of the top lots produced in a given coffee producing country that are subjected to meticulous evaluation by a national jury and an international jury of experienced tasters. Eulogio Martinez’s mystery coffee, which we now know to be a hybrid variety called parainema, surprised its critics and put Los Yoyos on the map by winning first place at the 2015 Cup of Excellence.
While the parainema variety remains divisive, we at Passenger have always found its unique flavor profile, with its dynamic mix of citrus, tropical fruit flavors, and complex baking spices, to be very intriguing and enjoyable. A series of parainema lots from Los Yoyos have graced our menu over the years, and this particular selection from Eulogio's 2019 harvest is one of the most elegantly balanced that we've tasted to date.