The Lab

Coffee Analysis: Honduras Fredy Sabillon Parainema

The Sabillon farm was purchased in 2006, but Fredy and his brother started producing specialty coffee 12 years later in 2018. The farm is located at 1,350m and the coffee is fully washed and dried on raised beds. The Sabillon brothers carry out most of the work by themselves and only hire help during peak harvest times. These brothers are dedicated to quality and take pride in growing their specialty coffee production.

Fredy Sabillon

This coffee is a unique cultivar known as Parainema. It is a member of the Sarchimor hybrid family. Sarchimors are hybrids of the Costa Rican Villa Sarchi variety and the Timor hybrid. The Honduran coffee institute, IHCAFE, created the Parainema cultivar by selectively breeding offspring of those two plants with the goal of increasing the resistance to coffee leaf rust and preserving the cups quality. In 2017, a Parainema won the Honduras Cup of Excellence competition in spite of the reputation for rust resistant varieties to produce lower quality coffee.

When roasting this coffee, we must consider the high density and low moisture content. Both of these variables will lead to the coffee roasting quickly since there is little water to absorb the heat, and internal bean development will occur rapidly as a result of efficient heat transfer in high density coffees. The large size of the Parainema indicates that we should be wary of roasting too fast since we need compensate for the large distance between the center of the bean and the outer layer. Our goal is to create a relatively uniform bean development from the outside to the center.

side-by-side roast curves from Stonghold Square – Gas Application in Red

Two roasts yielded coffees that were considerably different. Our first roast used relatively high heat application consistently and resulted in a 7:50 first crack time with ~20% development. On the cupping table, it was tart, lemony, juicy and floral. The second roast employed a more gentle heating. The coffee spent more time browning, allowing Maillard and carmelization reactions to occur for longer. The coffee had less intense acidity, but was still complex with more supporting sweetness.

For espresso, we chose to explore our first roast. We used 18g of coffee and produced a 36g shot in 34 seconds. The resulting espresso was 9.42% TDS and 19.52% extraction. The espresso was lemony with a silky body. There were notes of herbs like thyme and rosemary balanced with refined sugar sweetness. This would be an interesting single origin espresso served without milk to contrast a house blend. The longer roast profile would do better with milk and would create a more approachable beverage for the less adventurous coffee consumer.

Coffee institutes around the world are focusing heavily on rust resistant cultivar development. While this may not be the only solution to stabilize coffee production, it will surely play an important role in the future of specialty coffee. The newer hybrids may be unfamiliar to work with, but the stigma of low quality is not a fair judgment when applied to the entire industry. As roasters and baristas, we have the ability to manipulate the flavor of coffee and the opportunity to support farmers experimenting to ensure the success of specialty coffee farms in the future. For more information about coffee varieties and full list of offerings, Contact a trader at Royal NY. This Parainema from Fredy Sabillon is available for purchase here.

Patrick McKeown

Patrick began his coffee journey on Long Island at a small coffee bar and roasting at home. Since then he has been a barista, manager, and craft roaster in NYC.