||El Salvador Finca Argentina Estate Washed Bourbon 2016
||Apaneca-Ilamatepec Mountain Ranges
This coffee is now in its sixth year with us! Sixth! And, once again, it tastes amazing!
Two years ago Finca Argentina had a massive leaf rust issue, so we were only able to have this as "estate grade" coffee. But it's great to report that the farm has bounced back and, although it's still not perfect, the farm is on the road to recovery. Meanwhile, the estate grade version was such a success over the past two years that we asked Alejandro about it this year; and, of course, we now have it here again this year. :)
This lot comes from all the tablons on the farm. Anything that scored over 86 and under 89 on the cupping table made its way into this lot. Anything that scored over 89 got separated, and anything under 86 got sold as commodity coffee. We have decided to officially call this the "estate" version of the coffee, although it's like any other coffee that doesn't have this level of traceability.
The first time we came across Finca Argentina was via a very well presented sample that just landed on my doorstep. It came from someone who had visited the farm and offered to try to help find a buyer for them in the UK. We get lots of these, and we 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 many times in El Salvador. During the last two visits I stopped at his house with his family and enjoying a day at the beach. Alejandro has also been to see us in Stafford twice. We have worked with him on projects (some projects were successful, others we will brush over); we have also told him what we would like to see from the farm (some ideas he took on board, others he didn't – he's the farmer, after all).
Most importantly, he has become a very very good friend, and he is 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 businessman, 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 last year was to separate the farm into tablons (the Spanish word for 'plot'). It was separated into eight plots, with seven of them growing coffee.
The coffee is 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, and it's near the town of Turin in the Ahuachapán department. Sixteen people work on the farm during the non-picking season, maintaining and tending to the plants. This number of workers goes up to 50 people during the picking period. The altitude of the farm is 1,350 m.a.s.l. The coffee is a washed process coffee, and it's sun dried on patios.
In the cup you can expect loads of moreish mouthfeel. I want you to think of melted chocolate, super smooth and balanced, and on the finish you'll find hazelnut.
Country: El Salvador
Region: Apaneca-Ilamatepec mountain ranges
Nearest city: Turin, Ahuachapán
Farm: Finca Argentina
Owner: Alejandro Martinez
Processing: fully washed and sun dried
Workers: 16 full time, rising to 50 during the picking season
Altitude: 1,300 m.a.s.l.
Medium dark – first pops of second and drop.
"Quick Look" Guide
Milk chocolate, hazelnut, smooth, balanced, mouthfeel, moreish.
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