Release #20: Caballero Java 2019

    Marysabel Caballero and Moises Herrera are a specialty coffee power couple. Marysabel comes from a family that has been producing coffee in the Honduran department of La Paz since 1907. Moises is an accountant by training who grew up in Guatemala and began traveling to Honduras in the 1990’s as an employee of a Guatemalan coffee exporter. Early on, Moises decided to invest in land not far from the Caballero family farms and met Marysabel around the time that he began coffee production. The two married in 1996, initiating a shared quest to learn, innovate, and produce the highest quality coffee possible on their farms - that now encompass more than 200 hectares (approx. 500 acres).

    Over the many years that they have been producing coffee together, Moises and Marysabel have earned well-deserved acclaim as two of the most innovative and renowned specialty coffee producers in the world. Their coffees have routinely been recognized as some of the very best in Honduras, finishing in the top 10 of the Honduran Cup of Excellence multiple times and winning the competition in 2016.

    Success at this level, and over such a sustained period of time, simply does not happen by accident. Moises and Marysabel are meticulous and intentional about every aspect of their business and their curiosity and passion have fueled many refinements to their approach over the years. In the interest of offering their coffee pickers better financial stability and to ensure the best possible cherry selection at harvest, the Caballeros employ these workers year round rather than primarily at harvest time, as is the case on the majority of coffee farms.To improve consistency and overall quality during processing, they built state-of-the-art wet and dry milling facilities and dry their microlots on shaded raised beds to prevent the coffee from drying too quickly.

    A significant area of exploration for Moises and Marysabel over the years has been the cultivation of many different coffee varieties. They currently have about 10 varieties in production and have cultivated approximately 50 on experimental plots. “Java”, along with “Mokka” and “Bourbon” is an example of a coffee variety name that references a notable stop on one of c. Arabica’s initial accessions from southwestern Ethiopia to the Arabian peninsula and then along colonial trade routes to diverse equatorial regions around the world.

    This particular example of the Java variety, presented on Passenger's Reserve Lot menu in 2019 and now making a very limited return as our 20th Freezer Friday release, is a study in understated elegance. While some of the best Honduran coffees are characterized by exotic fruit flavors and dynamic acidity, this selection demonstrates qualities of refinement and nuance that are equally pleasing.

    Freezer Fridays

    The Freezer Friday archival release series provides a unique new opportunity to explore Passenger’s treasure trove of notable harvests from the past. As those familiar with our approach to green coffee preservation will already know, we have actively stored our green coffee in an off-site deep freeze facility since our start as a company, keeping the coffees that we purchase in pristine condition following arrival.

    While the majority of Reserve Lot coffees that we buy sell out within months of their first appearance on our menu, we have, since our start in 2014, saved small volumes of many of our most extraordinary coffees for future enjoyment. 

    Inspecting the harvest at Gesha Village Estates

    Selecting gems from the past at Passenger’s off-site freezer archive

    This year we will begin to make a few of these “greatest hits” available for purchase in extremely limited quantities. Each release will be announced through Social Media and limited to 1 per order.

    The archival lots that we will be releasing in this way are not only shining examples of plant genetics, terroir, and skilled processing, they also offer a unique nostalgic opportunity: to revisit our previous experiences with these coffees and acknowledge once again some of the true high-water marks of producers whose coffees we have been privileged to taste over the years.

    • 4.29.22 Release #23: Kanzu 2019

    • 3.10.22 Release #22: Worka Chelbessa 2020

    • 2.18.22 Release #21: German Córdoba 2018

    • 1.14.22 Release #20: Caballero Java 2019

    • 12.31.21 Release #19: Hacienda La Esmeralda 2019 - Dry Process

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