Summer love: Honduras COSMA

Our mission at No. Six Depot has been to bring community to coffee, to bring the customer closer to the source. We work with some pretty inspirational co-ops and small farmers around the world. COSMA, a small co-op from Honduras is no exception, and hands down our summer love.

The origins

Cafe Organico Marcala, or COMSA, was created in 2000 by 62 farmers who wanted to reform the way coffee was grown. Many of the members belong to the indigenous Lenca tribe, and bring their traditional sustainable organic farming practices along with them.  Prior to forming this co-op, their labor-intensive techniques made the production costs untenable. By adopting farming practices geared towards organic certification and high quality, they now produce a far better product and are paid a premium on the specialty market for their effort, skill and stewardship of the land.

The fruits

It paid off. In 2001, they were certified organic by Bio Latina, in 2006 achieved fair trade status, and today they boast over 300 members—providing much-needed employment to many local farmers and workers, and using the premium they gain from their excellent product. for important social projects in their communities. In 2005 a DOP (Protected Origin Denomination) was awarded to Café de Marcala, the first awarded to any region in any Central American country.

The sharing

Recognized as innovators in organic techniques—from carbon sequestration, to methods of drying harvested coffee, to the recycling of wastewater—they share their practices with neighboring countries to find solutions to common problems.  To take just one example, they use manure, husks and mucilage of the coffee beans, other plant matter, powdered volcanic rock and ash to balance the pH and enhance nutrient content of the wastewater. This is then used to grow crops in less fertile soil (without resorting to chemical pesticides or inorganic fertilizers), as well as increase maturation and tissue re-growth in coffee plants afflicted by roya, otherwise known as “coffee rust.”

The cup

An exceptionally bold, but smooth cup of coffee with notes of lime, honey and berry. To bring out its chocolate notes, Flavio roasts it longer and deeper than other beans. Come on in, try a cup and fall in love.

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