Episode 525: El Salvador Finca San José Washed Red Bourbon

Finca San José is the pride and joy of the Rodríguez family, and is now in the hands of a fourth and fifth generation of coffee producers. The story begins in 1815, when José María Rodriguez and Josefina Rodriguez (great-grandparents) planted the first coffee trees with their own hands.

Through the generations, the farm has passed through the hands of many committed farmers like José's son, Israel Rodriguez. He was then followed by Jose Maria Rodriguez, who took care of the farm until it came to Gloria Mercedes Rodriguez Fontán, the most recent owner.

Ever the strong woman, Gloria has overcome gender barriers in an industry that has historically been the province of men, and she personally supervises every step at the farm level. Gloria not only takes care of San José but, together with her siblings' support, she manages five other small farms which collectively add up to 38 hectares.

The mountain slopes of Finca San José are fully shaded by trees that help to maintain and preserve the crop and the surrounding environment. In addition to the trees' diversity, the farm is home to a variety of wild animals and birds, which can be seen in their natural habitat. San José is nested in the northwestern slope of an extinct volcanic crater, which holds a small lagoon inside it. The lagoon is named Nymph Lagoon, due to the abundance of water lilies.

At Finca San José, coffee goes through extensive quality control in addition to being grown under standards that support specialty coffee production. The unique microclimate conditions include an average altitude of 1,500 metres above sea level, an average temperature of 17°C, and rich and loamy clay soil; and the coffee grown is mainly Bourbon variety.

In the cup expect a milk chocolate digestive biscuit. There's a shoulder of caramel and a passing nod to orange, but this is a straightforward, sweet and deliciously easy drinking coffee.

  • Country: El Salvador
  • Department: Ahuachapán
  • Municipality: Apaneca
  • Nearest city: El Saitillal
  • Farm: Finca San José
  • Owner: Gloria Mercedes Rodriguez Fontán
  • Farm manager: Antonio Avelino
  • Processing method: Washed
  • Varietal: Red Bourbon
  • Altitude: 1,500 m.a.s.l.
  • Average temperature: 17º C

Cupping notes: Milk chocolate digestive, caramel, orange.

  • Clean cup: (1–8): 6
  • Sweetness: (1–8): 8
  • Acidity: (1–8): 6
  • Mouthfeel: (1–8): 6
  • Flavour: (1–8): 6
  • Aftertaste: (1–8): 6
  • Balance: (1–8): 6.5
  • Overall: (1–8): 6.5
  • Correction: (+36): +36

  • Total: (max. 100): 87

Roasting Information: Medium dark - take this steadily through first, give it a little time between cracks and drop just at the first pops of second.

"Quick Look" Guide: Milk chocolate digestive, caramel, orange.

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