This coffee is in its third year with us and is a sign of the progress we have made working with Alejandro. The first time we came across this it came as a very well presented sample which just landed on my doorstep. It came from someone who had visited the farm and offered to try and help find a buyer for them in the UK. We get lots of these and normally give them a try on the cupping table, but find they are just not good enough for us to stock. This one was quite different: the quality was amazing. So initially we stocked it, although we knew very little about it.
Since that day, I’ve been to see Alejandro three times in El Salvador, last time stopping at his house with his family and enjoying a day at the beach. Alejandro even came to see us last year in Stafford. We have worked with him on projects (some successful, others we will brush over); we have also told him what we would like to see from the farm (some he took on board, others he didn’t).
Most importantly, he has become a very very good friend, and someone whose coffee I love and company I enjoy. Alejandro took over running the farm from his father a few years ago, having returned to El Salvador after travelling around the world as an investment banker. A very intelligent guy and a very good business man, he understood the farm needed to step up in work if it was to flourish: lots of work has gone into making this cup the quality one it has become.
Part of this work was to separate the farm into tablons (the Spanish word for plot). It was separated into 8 plots, with 7 of them growing coffee.
This coffee comes from the 2nd highest part of the farm called Fincona 2 that is about 12 manzanas and is the most productive of all the tablones. The soil has less clay, so it is softer which allows for the coffee tree roots to grow better. It is not unusual for Fincona 2 to produce above 25 quintales manzana (which is probably the norm at most coffee farms but at Argentina its a much lower yield normally). Altitude is from 1,200 to 1,300 m.a.s.l. Fincona 2 has a nice, gently sloping area and then a hard steep area as you get higher towards San Jorge and begins at the farms Casa (house)
The coffee is a 100% Bourbon, as 70% of plant stock in El Salvador is. This heirloom varietal is one of the reasons why coffee from this country is right up amongst some of the best in the world. They have the perfect climate and conditions for this low yielding, high maintenance strain.
The farm is based in the Apaneca-Ilamtepec mountain range near to the town of Turin in the Ahuachapan dept. During the non-picking season 16 people work on the farm maintaining and tending to the plants. During the picking period this goes up to 50 people. The altitude of the farm is 1350m. The coffee is a washed process coffee, and is sun dried on patios.
This is a world exclusive for us, and one I think you will enjoy. In the cup expect lots of mouthfeel, think melted butter in texture and in taste, a very very balanced cup with a hint of citrus acidity, enough to get you interested, with lemon rind tartness. Balanced, smooth, sweet with acidity hints, delicious.
Country: El Salvador
Region: Apaneca-Ilamatepec Mountain ranges
City: Near Turin, Ahuachapan
Owner: Alejandro Martinez
Farm: Finca Argentina
Tablon: Fincona 2
Processing: Fully washed and Sun Dried
Workers:16 full time rising to 50 during the picking season
Altitude: 1,300 m.a.s.l.