It would be an understatement to call our newest Farmlevel partner a coffee producing prodigy. At just eighteen years of age, Denilson Madrid is already delivering world class coffee from his 5-hectare plot in the Las Flores municipality of Santa Barbara, Honduras. It’s called La Peña, after the rock at the peak of his high-altitude finca, which neighbors two Verve favorites: El Niño and La Colmena. In addition to producing his own coffee, Denilson somehow finds the time to further his knowledge in agriculture and agronomy at Escuela Agrícola Panamericana Zamorano near Tegucigalpa.
A fourth-generation coffee farmer, Denilson Madrid is the son of Verve’s long-time Farmlevel partner Franklin Madrid, who has produced such beloved coffees as La Fortuna and La Patepluma. His coffee exemplifies everything we have come to love from the Santa Barbara region of Honduras: densely sweet stone fruit, vibrant citric acidity and lemongrass, and a lasting complexity that is not easily forgotten.
We are beyond excited to offer for the first time ever, Denilson Madrid’s finca La Peña.
Read on to learn more about what motivates Denilson and what he wants you to know about La Peña.
Verve | What do you love most about growing and farming coffee?
Denilson Madrid | The work of a year on a farm is realized when I serve a cup of coffee and enjoy it, when I feel its attributes- it is at that moment where I realize how much it was worth all the effort and dedication of this harvest we make together as family, friends, and employees.
V | What makes you want to continue your family’s coffee legacy?
DM | I am a fourth generation coffee producer, and this is a family tradition and that makes me feel proud. Growing coffee... for me it is beautiful. We feel that farms are part of our homeland, a part of us, and we just enjoy giving time to it.
V | Many younger generations are deciding not to continue on their family coffee farms, what do you think the reason for this is?
DM | Today’s generation decides to dedicate themselves to other crops that generate higher income for their families, due to the low prices of commodity coffee and the high cost of production. Young people migrate to the cities and leave the most productive lots of coffee. Several of us have continued with our family farms, but there comes a time when a fungus or drought can undo a lot of hard work, and we might not manage to control it; in this way they can lose their coffee quality- and possibly their farms. It’s a risky business, to say the least.
V | What are you most excited to learn more about in University?
DM | My main objective is to learn new techniques for coffee production, lowering production costs, increasing product quality and increasing yield, in order to satisfy final consumers. Sharing my acquired knowledge with family and also to be able and help other small producers will hopefully make a net positive impact on our unique micro-region.
V | What’s one thing you would most want customers to know about La Peña?
DM | We are a family that strives to produce one of the best coffees in the Santa Barbara area, as well as trying to protect and preserve the neighboring biodiverse Santa Barbara National Park. On our farm La Peña, we have a small path which leads to the summit where there’s a large rock with an amazing view over the surrounding mountains, and this is a daily source of connection with our beautiful natural surroundings. We have different plots on the farm that are grouped by varieties of coffee, they are divided by many vibrant flowers of different colors and attractive shade trees. Every year we try to implement new ideas, as long as they improve our site and take care of our environment. We feel proud of our work and so proud you can enjoy our coffees.