Sisters, Sisters, there were never such devoted sisters… or so the old song goes. Here at Bird and Bear Coffee, we’re really into sisters. While I had two brothers growing up, I’m lucky to have gained a sister-in-law, and to have two lovely twin girls who are learning very quickly at 15 months old, what it means to be a sister.
So, we love celebrating our “Hermanas Alvarado'' or Alvarado sisters, coffee from Honduras. Especially because I’ve known Iris Alvarado since before I met my wife. Iris is one of the most humble, hard working and talented women I’ve ever met. She is the Head Cupper (coffee taster) at COCAFCAL, or Capucas in Copan Honduras, a place that I’ve visited at least 15 times since 2011. Iris’ role in the coop means that she tastes all the coffees produced there each year, and provides feedback to all of the growers on how their harvest is going. A unique position that has given her a unique perspective on how to improve her own coffee.
Back in 2014, Iris invited all of the coffee buyers attending that year’s competition to her farm for lunch. We sat in a rare flat spot with shade while the marimbas played. The farm, and the mountains surrounding us. The picturesque landscape mirroring the unassuming nature of Iris. There to be appreciated if you’d look. Fast forward to 2020, and Iris and her sisters’ coffee won 3rd place out of 100+ lots that were entered into the annual competition held by the cooperative. A welcome recognition of the years of work that they have spent tending their farm.