baked apples, butterscotch, chocolate, Crispy, tropical fruits and lemon.
Farm: Los Planes, Reserva El Pital
Farmer: Ramon de Jesus
Town: Rio chiquito
Country: El Salvador
Altitude: 1800 m
Process: Washed and 72 hours of fermentation, patio dry, hand picked
Finca Los Planes, rest in the shoulders of the Montana El Pital, part of the Reserva de Vida Silvestre El Pital shared with the western side of Honduras. The nearest city to Ramon's coffees is La Palma, but he normally goes all the way to Nueva Ocotepeque, Honduras to obtain his fertilizer, gas and sometimes just to enjoy the fairs!
I met Ramon in a fertilizer training I was sharing in Ocotepeque in 2009, great guy with a unique prosper spirit! I visited his farm and it was a delight, El Pital is a gorgeous reserve area sometimes the temperature drops to -F, and for a tropical person that is really cold! trust me!
Ramon just turned 36 and he has a whole life ahead of him, in his farm of 32 hectares, he has develop a amazing ecosystem where everything work very organic. If you want breakfast you got to go and harvest eggs in the morning "his say to me". horses, dairy and meat cattle, chicken and pork are grown there too so he lives in a little piece of heaven.
Ramon left El Salvador as a tipical Central American to pursue the American Dream, after 5 years of that he said he had enough to come back and built his farm, his parents left him when he was 8 years old and went illigal to USA, but his dream wasnt that, came back home got married and started his real dream. Now with one baby boy 4 years old named after him and his wife Sobeida run the farm and hire temporary workers during the harvest.
About El Salvador
El Salvador has traditionally been known for bigger estates in Santa Ana. Chalatenango wasn't really on the map until Cup of Excellence came. The first year of CoE, Santa Ana was in the top places in the competition; the second year, Chalatenango "was discovered." This area has had good results due to its Pacamara variety and significant climate difference from Santa Ana: It's a much cooler climate.
It is a hard area to access. Coffee is traded in parchment here so this complicates things a bit. We have to buy the coffee in parchment and find a mill to prepare it in green exportable. This brings some risks, as each coffee will yield various amounts of green depending on the amount of defects.
I've personally been criticized by some Santa Ana producers as to why we are buying coffee in this area. One producer asked me why was I buying coffee there as he thought coffee from here was "stolen" due to the nature of how it's bought and sold (a lot of times with cash in hand), and another producer questioned me as to why I was buying directly from producers and not through an exporter. The answer is simple: to access the best qualities.
Salvadorans wear the Bourbon badge of honor proudly. Producers, even in the face of impending coffee-leaf rust, are loyal to this variety known for its big body and sweetness. Producers in El Salvador believe the Bourbon variety is what makes a coffee distinctively Salvadoran. The cups typically are big bodied, creamy, and full of sugar. Higher-grown Salvadoran coffee also expresses mild citric acidity in the form of lemon and lime. Processing experiments in El Salvador are leading to some very unique microlots, by introducing notes of strawberries and blackberries in the cup alongside the other elements.