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March Featured Coffee — Honduras Santa Elena Catracha Adan

 Honduran Coffee Farmer

One of the most enjoyable aspects of being a coffee roaster is getting your hands on extra special green coffee beans and making them available to you to enjoy. This is made even more gratifying when you know that your purchase is helping improve the livelihood of farmers who produced the beans.

With a purchase of this month’s featured beans, Santa Elena Catracha Adan from Honduras, you can feel good about the fact that you are helping a farm family in Honduras while sipping a delicious cup of coffee.

Adan Hernandez Amaya produced this micro-lot on a 4 acre farm called El Esfuerzo and is one of the farmers selected to work with the Catracha Coffee Company, whose mission is to improve the quality of coffee through improved farming practices. Monthly educational seminars and hands on training have helped Adan increase yields and quality. All profits associated with the export of his coffee is the main source of income for him, his wife Juana and their three children.

While these beans can handle different roast degrees, a medium roast that brings out just enough toffee and hazelnut to produce a rich, long lasting flavor while preserving the citrus fruit of lemon and orange marmalade. The beans received a “90” cupping score by my importer, Royal Coffee. Any score above an 85-87 is considered high grade.

About Catracha Cooperative:

The Catracha Coffee Company was established in 2010, when Mayra Orellana-Powell realized her dream of starting a coffee business that would have a positive impact on the community where she was born and raised. Mayra named her business Catracha Coffee Company because “Catracha” is a nickname for a Honduran woman.

Since 2011, Mayra has been helping coffee farmers from Santa Elena, including her own family, access the international specialty coffee market. The export sales have allowed them to improve their farming practices and the quality of beans, while establishing Santa Elena as a premiere coffee producing region.

Mayra, who lives and works in California with her husband Lowell Powell, came to the United States to study business. It was her passion for coffee and her community that led her back home to help the farmers.  

I had the privilege to first meet her in 2014 when she and her mother were in Seattle for a coffee convention. She visited my home where I roast coffee and toured our winery. Her warmth and convictions are infectious and it is heartwarming to know that drinking the coffee from Catracha is making a difference for many people.

A documentary was produced about her story, The Road to Yarasquin: A Coffee Pilgrimage. For more information, visit and