||El Salvador Finca Argentina Fincona 1 Tablon Washed Catimor 2013
||Region: Apaneca-Ilamatepec Mountain Ranges, El Salvador
This coffee is in its third year with us and is a sign of the progress we have made working with Alejandro. The first time we came across this it came as a very well presented sample which 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 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 stopping at his house with his family and enjoying a day at the beach. Alejandro even came to see us last year in Stafford. We have worked with him on projects (some 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).
Most importantly, he has become a very very good friend, and 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 business man, Alejandro 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 was to separate the farm into tablons (the Spanish word for plot). It was separated into 8 plots, with 7 of them growing coffee.
This coffee comes from one of the lowest parts of the farm farm called Fincona 1 that is about 8 manzanas (13.8 acres) and is the least productive of all the tablones. The altitude is from 1,100 to 1,200 m.a.s.l. and is 70% Bourbon, 20% Pacas and 10 % of the varietal Catimor. Alejandro tends to use this part of the farm to experiment as it has not always produced the best cup profile.
The coffee is a 100% Catimor, a controversial coffee varietal. Catimor is a cross between Timor coffee (resistant to leaf rust a big problem at the moment in central America) and Caturra coffee. It was created in of all places Portugal in 1959.
It grows and produces fruit very quickly and has a very high yields, pest resistant and leaf rust resistant and will grow at much lower altitudes well in comparison to to many other commercial varietals. Sounds perfect, but problems come in the cup quality. Timor has its feet in the robusta species (hence all these lovely benefits) but robusta is not known for being tasty.
Luckily for us, this is one of the finest examples I have seen of this varietal, and came by with Alejandro wanting to experiment and try different varietals on different parts of thew farm, one being catimor.
Its only a very small lot, but a great example of cupping a coffee with your taste buds and not what you think it might taste like. This coffee made me change my opinion of this varietal.
The farm is based in the Apaneca-Ilamtepec mountain range near to the town of Turin in the Auchapan dept. During the non-picking season 16 people work on the farm maintaining and tending to the plants. During the picking period this goes up to 50 people. The altitude of the farm is 1350m. The coffee is a washed process coffee, and is sun dried on patios.
This is a world exclusive for us. It starts off as a typical el Salvadorian coffee, sweet milk chocolate, balanced acidity, and smooth. then it takes a right turn and develops a spicy black pepper taste, that I never find in a coffee from El Salvador. The body is big, the mouthfeel equally so, a huge coffee.
Country: El Salvador
Farm: Finca Argentina
Tablon: Fincona 1
Processing: Fully washed and Sun Dried
Workers:16 full time rising to 50 during the picking season
Owner: Alejandro Martinez
City:Near Turin, Ahuachapan
Region: Apaneca-Ilamatepec Mountain Ranges, El Salvador
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, milk chocolate, black pepper.
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