Bold flavours with winey acidity, flavours notes of blueberry and kiwi fruit. Smooth milk chocolate sweetness, medium body and buttery mouthfeel.
This amazing micro-lot is from the Chalatenango region, in the northern part of El Salvador. The region is home to many well-known coffee producers and is known for regularly producing 90+ score coffees.
Finca Los Pozos is located in the municipality San Ignacio, at an altitude of 1,500 masl right in the foothills of the mountains. The farm belongs to Ignacio Gutiérrez, a passionate coffee grower who had successfully won two times the first place in the Cup of Excellence competition in 2011 and 2013. It is not surprising Ignacio Gutiérrez produces high-quality coffee year after year. For him, coffee is a great way of improving life and livelihood, and to have financial stability.
Ignacio Gutiérrez has years of experience in farming. He started to plant coffee in 2000, with only 500 coffee trees. As the popularity of his coffees grew, his farm steadily increased to about 54,000 trees, mostly Pacas, Pacamara, and SL-28 varieties. Like many producers in this area, his farm has struggled with coffee-leaf rust.
Ignacio uses different methods to process his coffees: Washed, Honey, and Natural, and he dries his coffee on both patios and raised beds, depending on the process and the climate.
SL-28 is among the most well-known and well-regarded varieties of Africa. It was created in the 1930s in Kenya and spread widely to other parts of Africa and Latin America. The variety is suited for medium to high altitudes and shows resistance to drought but is susceptible to major coffee diseases. SL28 is notable for its rusticity—a quality meaning that it can be left untended for years or even decades at a time and then return to successful production. There are SL28 trees in many parts of Kenya that are 60-80 years old and still productive.
SL28 was selected at the former Scott Agricultural Laboratories (now the National Agricultural Laboratories, NARL situated at Kabete). Individual tree selections made at the Scott Laboratories during the 1935-1939 period were prefixed SL. Forty-two trees of various origins were selected and studied for yield, quality, and drought and disease resistance. SL28 was selected in 1935 from a single tree in a population called Tanganyika Drought Resistant. In 1931, the senior coffee officer of Scott Labs, A.D. Trench, conducted a tour of Tanganyika (now Tanzania). According to historical documents, he noticed a variety growing in the Moduli district that appeared to be tolerant to drought, diseases and pests. The seed was collected and brought back to Scott Laboratories, where its drought resistance was confirmed. SL28 was considered the prize selection of this period of intensive breeding.
Recent genetic tests have confirmed that SL28 is related to the Bourbon genetic group.
Natural process coffee is the oldest processing method and most common in areas where water is scarce. This processing method allows the sugar in the cherries to be naturally fermented by natural yeast that results in cup quality, such as tropical fruits and blueberry.
The process begins with workers harvesting only the ripe cherries. The whole cherries are spread thinly to dry on raised African beds with small holes to promote airflow for an even drying. The drying process takes 14–21 days until they reach the ideal moisture content. During this period, workers constantly measure the moisture content and turn the cherries to avoid mould, over-fermentation and rotting. The next step is to remove the skin, dried fruit fleshed and parchments. The last step is to store the green coffee to “rest” before being exported.
Known as the land of volcanoes, El Salvador is rich in fertile volcanic soil, which helped gain its reputation to produce high-quality coffee amongst other Central American countries.
Coffee in El Salvador was planted in the 1700s as the mean for domestic consumption. However, its popularity has grown significantly over the next centuries, undoubtedly more so after the introduction of the Cup of Excellence (COE) competition in 2003. It's believed that the introduction of COE marked a new era for El Salvadoran coffee. Since then, many producers are motivated in planting special varieties and experimenting with different processing methods.
Check out our blog to find out more about coffee regions in El Salvador.