El Salvador’s history with coffee goes a long way. For a long time, coffee was El Salvador’s largest export - making up 90% of the country’s exports during the early 1900s. This changed in the 1970s after the breakout of a civil war; but the country regained its stability and its contemporary status as an origin country is one of prestige and quality.
El Salvador is the smallest of the Central American nations, producing 546,000 sacks annually. But with homegrown varieties like Pacas and Pacamara, their coffees are always in high demand - aided by the fact high quality farming has a prevalence in the country.
Bringing in the new era of coffees was a priority for the El Salvadoran government, and in 2015 the Salvadoran Coffee Council produced a five-year plan to bolster the position of Salvadoran coffees to the international market. It worked.
The coffees we pick from El Salvador are always an incredible cup, we love the lots that are full of boozy funkiness and stone fruits.
NOTES: stone fruit, fermented red grapes, dark chocolate finish
REGION: Cerro Al Aguila
ALTITUDE: 1500-1670 masl
PROCESS: 48hr cherry maceration
PRODUCER: Rodolfo Ruffatti
Several decades of work and cultivation have gone into the creation of the Portillo variety, starting with a man’s determination to have his own. Salvador Portillo was instrumental in the discovery of the Pacas variety, and after sending it off to a lab for analysis the variety was attributed to the lab manager - a sad and disappointing story but it led to something even more magic.
Portillo’s commitment to the creation of this new variety spurred on decades of cross-pollination and isolation of the strongest, most densely populated bushes. Once he was happy with his variety, he gave the Ruffati family farm - Finca El Salvador - a collection of seeds, and on the farm the development continued with the ongoing selection of the best trees (which are now on their own 3rd generation).
Finca’s processing methods really bring this variety to life, with a 48 hour maceration which promotes the enzymatic transfer of aroma. This process is something we’re used to with some of the FES lots, and it produces a cup that’s fruitier and funkier than a regular natural process.
2021 - 2022
NOTES: funky chocolate bon bon
VARIETY: Red Bourbon, Typica
REGION: Santa Ana Volcano
ALTITUDE: 1650 masl
PROCESS: 120hr cherry maceration
PRODUCER: Jaime Catota
Miramar is back in house and this year it’s the 120 hour cherry maceration version.
Jamie Catota and his son William are one of the few small producers still living on their farm and producing coffee in the Palo Campana region on the slopes of the Santa Ana Volcano.
This coffee is made up of Red Bourbon and Typica varieties and grown at 1650 masl, although they are also growing Gesha and Kenya varieties as well.
So as last year the Productor team processed this coffee themselves, carrying out a 120 hour ‘anaerobic’ in cherry maceration before drying the cherries on raised beds for 3-4 weeks. In the cup it’s an intense, funky chocolate bonbon!
NOTES: stewed red berries, 60% chocolate, dried fruit
REGION: Palo Campana, Santa Ana
ALTITUDE: 1750 masl
PRODUCER: Roberto Ulloa
HARVEST: 2019 - 2020
For a third year we have been able to secure a small amount of what would seem to be one of the most elusive coffees from El Salvador.
From producer Roberto Ullua, who's been producing amazing coffees for years comes a natural processed ‘kenya’ variety grown at 1750 masl. As expected it was not certain how much and when this coffee would come but, it is stunning as usual with notes of stewed red berries, 60% chocolate and sweet dried fruit.