“WHEN YOU FIND YOUR PURPOSE,
GREAT THINGS HAPPEN”
A DIFFERENT BREED OF COFFEE
Respect is at the root of our coffee — respect for skilled growers, inspired sippers, dedicated staff, and each coffee tree itself. We source all beans from independent farmers in Honduras, whose coffee-growing experience goes back generations. Reversing the industry-standard supply chain economy, we pay fair wages to growers and even re-invest our own profits back into our farms, freeing our farmers to do what they do best: diligent and meticulous, quality organic growing.
Our farms are all located at high-altitudes of around 5,000ft, where trees’ slower maturation allows more time for their fruit to reach optimal sweetness. Just as careful in our harvest, we choose only the top 1% of beans, measuring the cherries’ sweetness with a refractometer and hand-plucking only the fruits that qualify between 18 and 20 degrees Brix. In the art of drying, each bean is carefully monitored to reach optimal condition without damage to flavor and integrity — whether using sun-driven techniques like natural and honey, or the more standardized washed process. Because our farms are all micro-lots, and thus process beans only in microbatches, we commit never to value quantity over quality.
The Spirit Animal coffee that you receive is therefore the product of a different coffee industry, and the agent of a cultural change. It’s a new breed of café– combining inspirational taste and sustainable reciprocity, for a stirring experience of proudly bold sipping.
LUIS ALVARADO – Chief Operating Officer
I come from Barrio el Tigre, a humble neighborhood of Cabañas, in the region in Copan.
A teacher by professional education, my inner calling brought me on another path: a five-star coffee taster.
My career in the coffee world started in 2009 by learning the art of cupping at the School of Tasters of Honduras. From there, I went on supervising and managing quality control for well-known Honduran coffee exporters for seven years. My job was making sure we sent out only the best batches because our markets were very demanding. The responsibility was huge: what was at stake was our reputation and our professional integrity.
In 2014, I began to participate as a National Cup of Excellence Judge in Honduras. It was a significant accomplishment; only the country’s best tasters are given a chance to work along with the world’s most renowned tasters. This experience became a continuous role for me: I was invited to be part of the judging panel all the years that followed.
I am passionate about my mission and always willing to share my knowledge. That, combined with my previous career, is why people from the coffee sector here call me “the Teacher.”
KATHYA IRIAS – President
Born and raised in Honduras, I grew up with a love for the land and all it produces. Digging my feet into the soil and feeling the life it gives, I learned about planting and harvesting as I accompanied my parents.
But my most important lesson was to serve and respect everyone who works the land, regardless of social status or role. Agronomy was, and continues to be, one of the most demanding and poorly-paid professions in my country. I’ll never forget what it was like to sit down with farmers and have a home-grown cup of coffee. We chatted about their living conditions and the challenges they faced when growing coffee on their own land, and about how terribly undervalued café was on the local market. And with each deliciously pure sip, paradoxically nurtured with care and strong against socio-economic odds, I discovered my passion: to share my country’s coffee as inspiration for reciprocity and respect.
Today, twenty years later, I’ve created Spirit Animal coffee to leverage my business background towards improving the lives of small-scale farmers. They are already century-long experts in nurturing coffee’s best essence; now, I hope to share with the world the vitality sipped in these beans, so that it may then be fairly cycled back to the hardworking communities that produce them.
Why coffee? Because I love both the process and result: an invigorating cup of coffee. But most importantly, because more than 20% of my country’s population makes its living from the coffee industry. That’s more than 100,000 families that can improve their quality of life and ensure a more sustainable future.
Now, Spirit Animal coffee invites you to drink with purpose, while you discover the inspiration of sipping in the moment. Let’s celebrate with a true cup of coffee.
PAUL GROMEK – CEO
Seeking a new challenge and the opportunity to create a passion-driven business, I started on a new path. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always appreciated a good cup of coffee; while visiting Honduras, I was amazed and inspired by the quality of their café.
I spent the next few years travelling all over Latin America around coffee farms, learning about the industry and trying to figure out what makes the perfect cup. I realized that there is a huge potential to share the pure taste of café through specialty coffee — still mostly unknown in to western market. This is when I decided to create a coffee company that delivers only the best and most pure beans. During one of my travels with my friend Kathya, we decided to join forces to deliver high-end specialty coffee at affordable prices.