||El Salvador Finca Argentina Washed Bourbon Petites 2017
||Varietal: Bourbon Petites
I've been working with Alejandro since 2008 and in that time our relationship has gone from strictly professional to Ale being one of my closest friends. He became involved in coffee in 2008 as he had just relocated to El Salvador from New York where he'd been working as a city banker. With his first son on the way and the hustle and bustle of New York no place to bring up a family the draw of home and El Salvador was just far too strong to ignore.
While looking for work in El Salvador, Ale decided to help his father with some of his business interests and investments. His father had inherited several coffee farms from his grandfather and was unsure what to do with them, one of the investments pricked Ale’s intent and this was a farm called Finca Argentina. The reason it really got Ale's attention was that he saw the farm once yielded loads of coffee but was producing a fraction of its old productivity. His father gave him permission to see what could be done to make the farm successful again
Ale found out the farm had been classified for a Q auction back in 2005. Thinking there may be a specialty buyer out there he and his cousin (who lived in London) went about sending samples to coffee roasters anywhere they could. 1 of those samples arrived at Hasbean Towers just like a lot of other samples do, but unusually I liked the coffee and the rest, as they say, is history.
Since then Finca Argentina has gone from strength to strength but not without bumps in the road. In 2013 they suffered the worst harvest on record, with only 70 bags harvested due to a massive issue with leaf rust. But with investment and hard work they have also bought a neighbouring farm and the future is amazingly bright for Ale, his father, his family and Finca Argentina.
The farm is based in the Apaneca-Ilamtepec mountain range, and is 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 1,300 m.a.s.l.
Petites are historically the 10% or so coffee that gets thrown away after processing because it's smaller than the normal size - In the old commodity days when picking and sorting were less uniform, the fastest method to create that uniformity was to sort the size of the bean, larger beans being thought to be the best.
They were not the best, just like peaberry's are not the best, just different.
At farms where picking and sorting are done well, petites have the ability to be even better than their larger brother and sisters, and slightly different. And instead of them being blended away into commodity coffee there's an opportunity to add more value to the producer when crops are small.
In the cup these little beans deliver a sweet, bright and juicy punch! Lime and orange team up with green apple for a refreshingly different and thoroughly delicious El Sal.
Country: El Salvador
Nearest city: Turin
Farm: Finca Argentina
Owner: Alejandro Martinez
Altitude: 1,300 m.a.s.l.
Varietal: Bourbon Petites
Processing method: Washed
Drying method: Patios
Medium/medium dark - drop just before second crack starts.
"Quick Look" Guide
Lime, orange, juicy, sweet, green apple.
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