The story of this organic coffee began last year as a 10-year celebration of our beloved Probat roaster Betty. Lovingly rescued & hand-restored by us she has been the heartbeat of our roastery for over a decade.
With the celebration of Betty came the launch of a new limited edition coffee. With it, a renewed commitment to honour the role of women across the coffee industry. This year’s Betty coffee is from Liquidámbar, an organic farm in the San Marcos region of Honduras.
In this post we’ll share how to brew Betty coffee at home and go behind the beans to introduce Delmy, the organic farmer growing these beans and championing gender equity for women in Honduras. Plus you'll have an opportunity to join Extract and Delmy in a conversation in a conversation online.
We have been working with Liquidámbar since 2015.
In 2018, we were lucky enough to host Delmy for a producer talk in London. Her passion was infectious. We were captivated as she explained the delicate relationship between speciality coffee, the rainforest and her community.
For five years, Delmy was the president of The Honduras Chapter of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) and is still heavily involved in the association. The IWCA is dedicated to strengthening the role of women in coffee production, processing and trading.
A key project has been training over 200 women in skills required in a range of coffee farming & business-related roles.
Delmy Regalado speaking at Extract Coffee Roasters, London base in 2018
Liquidambar Coffee Estate in San Marcos, Honduras
These workshops have included barista courses, cupping, marketing, MS excel, farm certifications, project proposal methods, governance and financial literacy.
After its initial success, the chapter gained further support to develop on-farm training such as climate change adaptation, income diversification, temporary shade and distance cultivation.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has disrupted, but not defeated their work with two more projects now underway, a “Women in Coffee Success Stories” series, and a directory of women in coffee.
Delmy’s work with the IWCA has a direct impact on the lives & financial sustainability of women in Honduran coffee-growing communities.
We’re delighted to be roasting her coffee as part of this year’s Betty campaign and ask that you join us for a digital conversation with Delmy in March.
Betty is grown on an organic coffee farm in Honduras, Liquidámbar. A third of the farm is dedicated to preserving the natural forest and protecting wildlife. Protected water sources from the farm provide water to more than 5000 people in the local community.
The farm is wholly organic, pulp from the coffee cherries is recycled into compost using Californian Red Worms. This compost is sold to neighbouring farms. The money from this income funds Liquidámbar’s organic certification. Selling to neighbouring farms means that it’s not just Liquidámbar which farms organically, but the neighbouring farms too!
Social, as well as environmental responsibility, are paramount here and workers are both housed and provided with medical care by the farm.
Delmy outside Finca Liquidambar.
Skilled workers pick the ripest coffee cherries by hand. Once picked, the cherries need to be processed. There are different methods of coffee processing, the beans in Betty are a honey-processed coffee.
Once picked, the cherries are pulped to remove the skins. The sticky-sweet fruit of the coffee cherry is left to dry around the coffee bean for 12-15 days. During this time the natural sugars in the cherry impart into the coffee beans. The result is a sweet-tasting coffee and golden coffee beans – hence the name, honey process.
Once dried, the parchment-covered coffee beans are dry-milled to remove any trace of the fruit, then graded and sent to us for roasting.
This honey-process from Liquidambar is produced exclusively for Extract Coffee Roasters.
Despite making a crucial contribution to the global coffee sector, women are underrepresented throughout the supply chain.
In many coffee-producing countries, women struggle to access education, finance and business resources. They are far less likely to own property and run farms or milling stations. They are less represented in decision-making positions and receiving less income, despite often doing more daily work than their male counterparts.
Women in some coffee-producing countries, such as Honduras, are more likely to experience gender-based violence and femicide. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, female farm-workers are sexually-assaulted by militant groups as part of a strategy to destabilise the region. These realities often go unspoken about, especially in consuming countries.
From the coffee farm to the coffee shop, there persists a striking division of labour and pay.
The pay gap generally increases for black, Asian, and minority ethnic women, LGBTQ+ communities generally face significant barriers in the workplace – these issues vary immensely according to the country.
We know this is only a fraction of the story, but we hope to continue our learning and using our platforms to share knowledge with you to keep the coffee and conversation flowing.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing the stories behind Betty. Join us 4 pm (GMT) 17th of March when we talk to the women behind Betty and take a deep dive into coffee production.
We will be joined by Delmy Regalado, the coffee producer behind Betty, Priscilla Daniel, Senior Coffee Trader at DR Wakefield and our very own Mhairi Erskine, Production Roaster at Extract Coffee.
Join our exclusive Extract Coffee Club. You'll get special offers and discounts, invites to our roastery events, details of new coffee launches and stories from behind roastery doors. Expect one to two emails a month, never more than one a week and only ever from Extract (third parties are definitely NOT in the club)