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Sail away, Islands in the Stream!

  • by Joshua Millman

Finding a name for a coffee is a journey. Sometimes it's easy and just comes, and other times, well, you gotta work for it. When I found this single-origin Honduras, it was just so comforting, warming, and really lovely, but for the life of me, I could not think of a name. I searched the web for famous Honduras musicians or songs in hopes of finding something that reflected the taste and profile of the coffee. I decided to clear my mind and go exercise. As I hopped on the elliptical and was looking at what I would watch while exercising, Netflix had just come out with a new documentary about Dolly Parton. 

Now let’s get something on the record. I love Dolly! She is an absolutely amazing person and uber talented artist, so I was excited to watch this. 

The further I dove into the documentary, the more I became enamored with her. She came off so sweet, inspiring, incredibly brave and an exceptionally lovely human being. As I continued to watch, Dolly started talking about a few of her songs and then she spoke about “Islands in The Stream.” It literally hit me right in the sweet spot; this coffee was just like Dolly and how amazing to honor her and her song with this coffee! To make things even cooler and reinforce the universe is most definitely connected, after we announced the release of Islands in The Stream, three days later Dolly donated $1 million dollars to help fund research to find a vaccine for Covid. You might say this was serendipitous. 

What I love about Honduras coffees is how sweet they are. This coffee in particular tastes straight up like apple pie and comes from the Proyecto Ojojona (Project Ojojona), a coffee growing collective in the heart of the Honduras mountains. One of the best parts about this collective is the altitude and the temperate climate most of the year. Altitude has a great effect on the quality and flavor of coffee. This coffee was grown at 1,600 meters above seal level (approximately 5,200 feet). Once you get much higher than 1,800 meters, it’s just too cold for the cherries to ripen properly. At a higher elevation, the coffee tends to be sweeter, more floral and possesses greater fruit. That’s where the apple pie comes from. I love the will power of this collective as well. They did not start considering growing coffee until 2005 when their neighbors brought over the Catuai varietal. Over the years, they saw that this coffee did really well and would give their families better income than some of the other crops grown there such as corn and beans. It didn’t really start for them until 2010-2012, and the first years they were not very successful. Part of the reason for that was because they had no coffee network. They didn’t know local coffee buyers or exporters. They had to transfer their coffee 70 miles away and with the cost of that and the super low coffee market, it made it very challenging. In 2019, a famous coffee farmer named Benjamin Paz came to help them. He loved the coffee, and could also see they needed help. He gave them better processes such as collecting the ripe cherries, drying them, and helped them sell their coffee at higher prices giving them better economic conditions. We love working with farmers and learning about their stories and we feel extremely grateful to be a part of their project and helping them live more sustainably.

Now onto Dolly’s coffee. This single-origin, medium-bodied, full-flavored coffee has it all, and seems to have found a place in our wintertime repertoire with it’s comforting tastes and aromas that make every part of your core feel oh so good. Primary notes of apple pie, baking spice, and caramel are framed by hints of almonds and milk chocolate providing subtle and round textures that tickle your tastebuds and captivate your senses. Dolly’s “Islands in the Stream” was a love song duet with the gambler himself, Kenny Rogers, but make no mistake, there is no gambling here. An absolute sure thing that serves as our love song to Honduras and the magical coffee the country produces. 


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