The Welchez family founded Finca Santa Isabel in the early 1950s. In the mid-1990s, they named their coffee Café Welchez, and their brand began to focus on excellence in coffee.
Finca Santa Isabel is located in Copán in western Honduras. Aside from producing and exporting quality green coffee, it has also become a “natural laboratory classroom”, where people can learn about agroforestry and coffee.
We sat down with Elisa Welchez, Brand Manager at Café Honduras, a PRF 2021 Host sponsor, to learn more about coffee origin trips in Honduras.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE A GOOD FARM VISIT?
“A good farm visit to Finca Santa Isabel means arriving early and breathing in the fresh mountain air. It means climbing up to the highest part of the farm and admiring the beautiful view and the mountains in the Copán Valley,” Elisa tells us.
On their website, the Welchez family describes their farm as “an ideal location for wildlife where intelligent management of land, water and forests are a part of daily work”.
Honduras is rich in biodiversity, and wildlife is inevitably part of any good origin trip experience. When exploring the farm, Elisa says you can “listen to the peculiar chant of oropendola birds, and if we’re lucky, see some toucans hopping on the branches”.
If we glance down to the coffee trees, you see “the pickers working with a smile on their faces, trusting that that work will result in a delicious cup of coffee”.
“[A good farm visit also means] walking among the coffee trees, admiring the cherries that are ripening and enjoying the tropical environment where they grow,” Elisa says.
The journey continues at the mills, where visitors can learn about coffee processing methods. Elisa tells me they show visitors “where the coffee is processed, at our wet mill [and] dry mill… so they know the efforts and passion that we put into our work”.
Finally, it’s time to taste the coffee. On every origin trip experience, Elisa hopes that guests “enjoy them as much as we do”.
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM COFFEE ROASTERS WHEN THEY VISIT AS PART OF AN ORIGIN TRIP?
“We hope they are people with a passion for coffee,” Elisa says. “We want them to appreciate good effort in production, and we want them to connect with the story behind each cup they serve to their customers. We want to work with clients who want to forge a friendship and develop honest partnerships where both parties reap benefits.”
Photo credits: Café Honduras