FEMALE COFFEE PRODUCER
size: 300g, 1kg & 5lbs
roast profile: ESPRESSO
tasting notes: COCONUT - CHOCOLATE BAR - FIG
producer: KATIA DUKE
farm: SAN ISIDRO
elevation (MASL): 1300
HONDURAS Katia Duke (washed)
San Isidro is only a fifteen minute drive from the town of Ruinas de Copan. The area is quite dry and dusty, similar to Marcala, Intibuca, and Opalaca. The farm has been in Katia’s family for generations and her family has always produced coffee traditionally, selling the coffee in parchment to local intermediaries. Katia spent most of her youth on the farm and was dedicated to following the tradition of her parents. She studied agronomy at the prestigious San Morano agronomic university in Honduras. In 2012, the roya leaf rust epidemic hit Honduras and most of the crop was destroyed. This urged Katia to actively change the way she and her family think about coffee.
The first step for Katia was to better understand the specialty coffee industry. She took various courses and became a certified barista and roaster. She opened her own coffee shop and started roasting the farm’s coffee. Naturally, the next step was to grow specialty coffee for export. After much discussion with her father, she was granted her own plots of land to farm as she liked. Now, five years later, these experiments have given many fruits.
Katia has not only been able to produce outstanding coffee and develop relations with roasters, she has also been a leader of her community. The growth of her farm and the community have been mutual. The flagship projects have been building a school and supplying a nutritional program. This achievement had the deeper effect of inspiring the community, showing that, in a country known for machismo, it can be a woman leading the way forward through coffee.
Katia had to work very hard to earn respect as a farmer solely for being female. On her first day as a coffee producer, only two women showed up to the farm to work with her. All others did not wish to work for a woman. Now, after years of struggle, Katia has formed a strong team in which mutual respect is the main principle.
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