||El Salvador Finca Argentina Fincona 2 Tablon Washed Bourbon 2014
||Apaneca-Ilamatepec Mountain Ranges
This coffee is in its third year with us, and it's a sign of the progress we have made working with Alejandro. This coffee came as a very well presented sample the first time we came across it; it 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 normally give them a try on the cupping table, but we usually 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 three times in El Salvador. Last time I stopped at his house with his family and enjoying a day at the beach. Alejandro even came to see us in Stafford last year. We have worked with him on projects (some were successful: we'll brush over the others). We have also told him what we would like to see from the farm (some ideas he took on board, others he didn't).
Most importantly, he has become a very very good friend. He's someone whose coffee I love and company I enjoy. Alejandro took over running the farm from his father a few years ago. He'd just returned to El Salvador after travelling around the world as an investment banker. A very intelligent guy, and a very good business man, Alejandro understood that 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 was to separate the farm into tablónes (tablón is the Spanish word for plot). It was separated into 8 plots, and 7 of them grow coffee.
This coffee comes from the 2nd highest part of the farm, called Fincona 2, which is about 12 manzanas (hectares). It's the most productive of all the tablones. The soil has less clay, so it's softer, which allows for the coffee tree roots to grow better. It's not unusual for Fincona 2 to produce above 25 quintales (“hundredlike” – KG)/manzana. This amount is probably the norm at most coffee farms, but at Finca Argentina it's normally a much lower yield. The altitude is from 1,200 to 1,300 m.a.s.l.
Fincona 2 has a nice, gently sloping area and then a hard, steep area as you get higher and closer to San Jorge, which begins at the farm's casa (house).
The coffee is a 100% Bourbon, just like 70% of plant stock in El Salvador. This heirloom varietal is one of the reasons 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 near to the town of Turin, in the Ahuachapan department. Sixteen people work on the farm during the non-picking season, maintaining and tending to the plants. This goes up to fifty people during the picking period. The altitude of the farm is 1350m. The coffee is a washed-process coffee, and it's sun-dried on patios.
This is a world exclusive for us, and it's one I think you'll enjoy. In the cup expect lots of mouthfeel: think melted butter in texture and taste. It's a very balanced cup with a hint of citrus acidity, enough to get you interested, and lemon-rind tartness. Balanced, smooth, sweet and with hints of acidity. Delicious.
Country: El Salvador
Region: Apaneca-Ilamatepec mountain ranges
City: near Turin, Ahuachapan
Owner: Alejandro Martinez
Farm: Finca Argentina
Tablon: Fincona 2
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 to medium dark roast. Anywhere after first crack and up to around 20 or so seconds into second.
"Quick Look" Guide
Balanced, big mouthfeel, creamy, lemon rind, melted butter.
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