Angel Arturo Paz - El Itacayo

Angel Arturo Paz - El Itacayo

Nestled 1600 meters above sea level in La Union, Santa Barbara, Angel Arturo Paz Ramírez passionately oversees Finca El Itacayo. His years of devotion to coffee growing led him to acquire this plot, where he now cultivates exotic varieties aiming for a unique flavor profile.
A team of six dedicated workers assists Angel in maintaining the farm. They focus on manual labour, from cleaning and pruning to nutrition, using minimal chemical inputs for an eco-friendly approach.

Angel's commitment to environmental preservation is remarkable. He's currently working towards a RainForest certification, showing his meticulous care for the farm's health. Moreover, he maintains a significant amount of shade using trees like guamo, sile, walnut, and avocado. Regular soil analysis guides the fertilization process, ensuring optimal nutrient balance.

Angel attributes the distinctiveness of his coffee to factors like the unique microclimate, special rain conditions, the natural shade from clouds, the soil's quality, and the exotic variety he grows.

He has high regard for the Cup of Excellence program, acknowledging its positive impact on specialty coffees and the transformative effect it has had on small producers' lives. Having participated in the program's auction, he appreciates not only the income it brings but also the economic benefits it imparts on the region.

A third-generation coffee connoisseur, Angel has been engaged with San Vicente, a local exporter based in Peña Blanca, Santa Barbara, for about 15 years. He made his first foray into coffee production in 2007, purchasing a plot of land where he planted Red Catuai coffee. This venture turned out to be a hit, leading to his first specialty coffee micro-lot two years later.

Since participating in the Cup of Excellence in 2011, Angel has become a prominent figure in Honduran coffee quality. He's been a crucial link between buyers and producers during the bustling Santa Barbara coffee market season. In 2018, he purchased land in Santa Barbara's Eldorado, shifting his focus from his former farm, La Colmena, to his new ventures, El Escondido and La Tigra. These plantations, growing a variety of coffee types including SL and Geisha, have been producing excellent coffee since their first harvest in 2021.

San Vicente, based in Pena Blanca, a quaint town in northwestern Honduras, collaborates with over 200 farmers, predominantly from the Santa Barbara area. Led by Angel, the team caters to coffee importers and roasters worldwide, performing cuppings and managing transactions.

Angel, alongside his colleague Benjamin, also runs the coffee plantation, a venture that has won numerous international accolades, including the Cup of Excellence. They further support growers through quality control, ensuring that the green coffee shipped to the market maintains a moisture value of 10-11% and a water activity value of 0.40-0.60aw.