Juan Jose Ernesto Menéndez Argüello belongs to the fourth generation of coffee farmers in his family. His father died in 1995, and after completing his studies at university he had the opportunity to start working in the coffee industry at J. Hill & Cia in 2000. After five years he left J. Hill & Cia to begin his second experience at JASAL. Both companies gave him the opportunity to meet “Grano de Oro” from another perspective, allowing him to learn the art and passion of cupping. He says those are very important in his life, and that they give him the opportunity to apply his coffee knowledge and experience gained through the years.
During his time in the coffee world, Neto has participated in various events like the Cup of Excellence (National Jury from 2003 to 2011), Q Auction, Q Grader, and the Star Cupper program organised by SCAA and CQI.
The farm, Las Brumas, is located between 45 to 60 minutes from the City of Santa Ana. It has a cultivated area of 60 hectares' worth of coffee yield, all of which is at an altitude ranging from 1,450 to 1,700 m.a.s.l. It produces around 600 bags of coffee each year, and has an area of 35 hectares of virgin mountain at an altitude from 1,700 to 2,000 m.a.s.l.
The farm is located in the Sonsonate department near the area known as San Blas. Las Brumas has a very rich volcanic soil, deep and very fertile, which has been generated by different Ilamatepec and Izalco volcanic eruptions throughout its history.
One of the most important elements is the micro climate. It's very misty for most of the year, and that's why Neto decided to name the farm Finca Las Brumas. This amazing micro climate is generated when the warm air when the Pacific ocean collides with the high peaks of the Volcanoes Park (Santa Ana volcano, Cerro Verde volcano and Izalco volcano). Due to its location between these three famous volcanoes in El Salvador, this unique micro climate reduces the amount of daylight that the coffee tree receives. This helps the coffee tree to have a very slow photosynthesis, improving the maturation process, and this in turn improves some attributes that are closely related to maturity, like the aroma, sweetness, acidity and flavour.
This coffee was produced as part of the brand new and super exciting Las Brumas Wild Coffee Project, the project is to use land for coffee producing that's forest, but to do it in a thoughtful and careful way so as not to remove any of the flora and fauna and so the space remains primarily a forest. This effects the speed of the growth of the coffee (lots of shade) but also provides it with its own fertilisation system, with all the forest floor goodness, and the constant supply of twigs and leaves to continue to enrich the soil.
In the cup expect lemon citrus and a lingonberry jam sweetness. The complexity of this cup makes it take a left turn as it cools into chocolate and caramel, “hey Mr Beaver, why are you beavering around with this Cadbury’s Caramel sweetness and smoothness?!” (sorry an in-joke for those of a similar age to me!)
- Country: El Salvador
- Department: Sonsonate
- Nearest City: Santa Ana
- Farm: Finca Las Brumas
- Farmer: Juan Jose Ernesto Menéndez Argüello
- Altitude: 1,450 - 1,700 m.a.s.l. / 1,700 - 2,000 m.a.s.l.
- Variety: Pacamara
- Processing System: Washed
Cupping Notes: Chocolate, lemon, lingonberry jam, caramel, Cadbury's Caramel.
- Clean Cup: (1-8): 7
- Sweetness: (1-8): 6
- Acidity: (1-8): 7
- Mouthfeel: (1-8): 6
- Flavour: (1-8): 7
- Aftertaste: (1-8): 7
- Balance: (1-8): 6
- Overall: (1-8): 6
Total: (max 100): 88