||El Salvador Finca San Jose Amarangia Bourbon 2011
||Varietal: Yellow & Orange Bourbon
Finca San José is the pride and joy of the Rodríguez family, and is now in the hands of a 4th and 5th generation of coffee producers. The story begins in 1815 when José María Rodriguez and Josefina Rodriguez (Great grandparents) planted the first coffee trees with their own hands.
Through the generations, the farm has passed through the hands of many committed farmers like José's son Israel Rodriguez, who then was followed by Jose Maria Rodriguez, who took care of the farm until the most recent owner, Gloria Mercedes Rodriguez Fontán. Ever the strong woman, Gloria has overcome gender barriers in an industry that has historically been the province of men and personally supervises every step at the farm level. Gloria not only takes care of San José, but together with her siblings' support, she manages five other small farms which collectively add up to 38 hectares.
Finca San José could be a new coffee farm to the UK specialty coffee market but it has been awarded many times by the Cup of Excellence from 2007 to 2009, and more recently as El Salvador Best of Origin and 4th overall highest score at the 2011 Coffee of The Year event held by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. This proves that commitment, hope and passion will never be deceived.
The mountain slopes of Finca San José are fully shaded by trees that help to maintain and preserve the crop and the surrounding environment. In addition to the trees' diversity, the farm is home to a variety of wild animals and birds, which can be seen in their natural habitat. San José is nested in the north-western slope of an extinct volcanic crater that holds inside it a small lagoon named Nymph Lagoon, due to the abundance of water lilies.
This year San José has 17 full-time workers performing several activities such as shade tree and coffee pruning, vegetative tissue renewing, and weed control. All of this work is done skillfully by hand. Approximately 60 more seasonal workers assist in the harvest process, earning their livelihood from picking and selecting coffee cherries only at the peak of ripeness. The people who harvest coffee have extensive experience and share a commitment of growing a superior quality coffee.
Gloria believes in maintaining highly motivated staff; the farm's permanent workers are receiving almost 10% above the legal wage, while the seasonal workers received almost 50% more during harvest due to the importance of this specific task for the end quality.
One of Gloria’s major blessings is to have Antonio Avelino as her farm manager or “mandador”, as his level of commitment, knowledge, and shared philosophy of quality makes him an integral part of this effort.
At Finca San José, coffee goes through extensive quality control in addition to being grown under standards that support specialty coffee production. The unique micro-climate conditions include an average altitude of 1,500 meters (above sea level), an average temperature of 17° C, rich loamy clay soil and the coffee is grown mainly to Bourbon variety. Some other works done to the farm this past year included the 3 foliar fertilizations and 2 soil fertilizations, including one of organic fertilizer named Huisil, based on soil studies to ensure specific requirements. Where allowed, the farm is worked with stem bending or “agobio”, and coffee shade pruning is performed to balance sunlight and shade requirements under sustainable levels. Weed control is also performed, mainly manually.
One of Gloria’s commitments is to reinvest an important share of the economic benefits from this activity into the farms, impacting the people who toil the fields and maintaining the quality of the production chain from seed to cup.
This smaller lot is the selection of the yellow and orange Bourbon that grows at Finca San José. This year, there was only a five bags lot of San José Amarangia and it goes exclusively to Has Bean. The lot preparation was done accordingly to this variety's ripeness; Gloria and Antonio (Gloria’s foreman) selected a team of 5 people only based on their skills, ability, and confidence in specific tasks, to prepare it.
The combination of both yellow and orange Bourbon created an amazing combination of profiles that was the main incentive to create a natural blend of both varietals and to offer this special lot, despite the huge efforts involved in selecting and separating this lot.
For the processing method, Gloria chose full washed, natural fermentation and sun dried in clay brick patios. The name Amarangia comes from a game of words formed with the Spanish names of both coffee cherry colours.
In the cup expect the lovely cherry that you find in the Red Bourbon, but this time there is a little more acidity; a little more zesty freshness, a little cleaner, and a little more delicious.
Location: Cantón El Saitillal, Apaneca, Ahuachapán
Coffee varieties: Bourbon (Red, Orange, Yellow), Typica, Elefante.
Type of Shade: Pepeto, inga sp, and other native trees
Average Annual Rainfall: 2,100 mm
Altitude: 1,500 masl
Average Temperature: 17º C
Type of Soil: Clay loam
Annual Production: (69kg) 75 bags
Mill and company where lot was process: Beneficio El Carmen, Agrícola San Agustín, S.A. de C.V. Fauna: Armadillo, gray fox, small wildcats, agouti paca, hawks, pocket gopher, magpie, turquoise-browed Motmot, among others.
This one is a medium roast, no more. Into the first pops of second if you must, but no more.
"Quick Look" Guide:
Chocolate, sweet, smooth, mouthfeel, rich sweet aftertaste.
Good Filter: Yes, Good Espresso: Yes
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