Peach & Butterscotch
Harvest: March 2018
Country: El Salvador
Producer: Jose Efrain Diaz
Region: San Fernando, Chalatenago
Altitude: 1,800 masl
Arrival: July 2018
It would be logical for the smallest Central American coffee-growing country to produce microlots, but historically, the majority of coffee was blended and sold to mills without much lot differentiation and separation. The rise of specialty coffee in El Salvador has inspired many producers to start to identify and isolate individual varieties, and to experiment with sorting and processing to attract buyers and get higher prices. However, accessing the resources to be able to do this can still be difficult for smaller growers.
Located in the heart of the volcanic mountain ranges of Chalatenago, Finca Machuca is a 2.5 manzana farm owned by Jose Efrain Diaz. Jose grows around 7,500 coffee trees, the majority of which are native Pacas and Pacamara varieties. This particular lot is 100% Pacas variety, a natural mutation of Bourbon discovered in El Salvador in 1949. Cup quality is similar to what you might expect from a Bourbon, but a single gene mutation causes this plant to grow much smaller, allowing farmers to plant crops closer together and increase total fruit production. Unfortunately, one of the qualities that has set El Salvador apart as a coffee producer over the past 20 years is also what makes it vulnerable; these famous varieties, often grown in monoculture, are especially susceptible to coffee-leaf rust.
This microlot is made up of just 5 x 35kg bags and we’re incredibly fortunate to have purchased the entire lot. We've never roasted this variety before, so we had lots of fun working with this coffee. The juicy and balanced acidity makes it perfect for batch brew, and reminds us of peach iced tea on cooling. We could drink this one all day long!