||El Salvador Finca Argentina Los Mangos Tablon Natural Bourbon 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 and 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 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, 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 was to separate the farm into tablons (the Spanish word for plot). It was separated into 8 plots, with 7 of them growing coffee.
Los Mangos means the "Mangoes", named after the mango trees planted there. It's about 10 manzanas of land and most of the tablon is a gentle slope. The main characteristic of the tablon is that it is close to the "Ausol" (a volcano vent that you can see from the farm, the actual fumes end up spitting from the neighboor's property on to this land.)
So, the Ausol's route out actually passes underground near the land. The soil in this area can get really hot. There is even a small vent in this tablon area that actually melts the rock and mud and smells like sulfur near by.
The main drawback on this land is no one knows what direction the Ausol is taking and where it will show up next. On this land nothing grows, and if it changes route it kills the plants.
Taking this aside the tablon goes from 1,150 to 1,250 ma.s.l. There has been some heavy replanting in this area over the last few years and there are plans to replace much of the plant stock this year.
The coffee is a 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 near to the town of Turin in the Auchapan dept. During the non-picking season 16 people work on the farm, maintaining and tending the plants. During the picking period this goes up to 50 people. The altitude of the farm is 1350m. The coffee is a naturally processed coffee, and is sun dried on patios.
This is a world exclusive for us, and one I think you will enjoy. In the cup expect dark high-cocoa chocolate, dried fruit of currants and prunes with a slight minerality, and dried tropical fruit. It also has a huge body.
Country: El Salvador
Farm: Finca Argentina
Tablon: Los Mangos
Processing: Natural processed 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:
Dark high cocoa chocolate, minerality, currants, prunes.
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