Each year, when visiting Juan Evangelista, he proudly takes us to his nursery. “More Pacamara!” he proudly exclaims. He walks up the steep mountain slope, going at a pace fit for a man less than 1/2 his age. The goal is to get to 100% of this variety at La Maravilla. Right now there is some Pacas that is looking a little worse for wear next to the lush Pacamara trees with beautiful, purple ripe coffee fruit. At this altitude, Juan is absolutely convinced that this is the right choice - we agree, both for that amount it yields, and for the fact that this coffee has such an exciting, wild profile. The initial seeds he got from his neighbour in Las Flores,Eulogio - the same man that won Cup of Excellence this year with this same variety.
With every good story, there’s a twist however - Juan’s variety may not even be Pacamara, but instead, Parainema - a hybridized variety that is resistant to coffee leaf rust and nematode infestations (something of great relevance to farmers in Honduras, especially when intercropping with bananas - whose nematodes interfere with coffee plant roots). This variety began in 1981 as part of a series of experiments to address producers issues with disease and pests, and was known as Sarchimor T-5296. First plantings were in Costa Rica from 2006-2008, and it was introduced to Honduras in 2010 as “Parainema”.
When Eulogio originally got the seeds, they were listed as Pacamara, but now we believe that may have been a typo, since the physical markers of the plants look more like Parainema after all.
No matter what it is, there is one thing we do know - it’s delicious.
We hope you’re on team black licorice, because this coffee has loads of it in the aroma. Filled out with a refreshing lime acidity and botanicals like sassafras to add complexity to this sweet cup, it’s truly a wild ride.