El Salvador Finca Suiza 2009


Bean name El Salvador Finca Suiza 2009
Country El Salvador


Another fine El Salvador. Nothing excites me quite as much as a good coffee from El Salvador. It has a great climate, excellent soil, top quality plant stock (70% is Bourbon, a higher proportion than anywhere else), but most of all good people to look after the coffee and care for it.

Suiza farm was acquired around 1952 by Carlos Menéndez and Dolores Salazar de Menendez, who had the vision to grow coffee there despite the rough access due to a lack of proper roads and means of transportation. The most important thing to them was the idea of working hard, creating jobs and giving the local communities permanent support such as helping with the construction of a local school and a church. The farm was then inherited sometime around the 1970s by Carlos Menéndez, son of the owners, who undertook intensive works in the coffee fields making Suiza one of the most productive farms in the Santa Ana volcano. In 1986, keeping the coffee heritage in the family, Carlos' wife, Julia Margarita Molina Martínez, took over care of the farm with the help of her sons, and in particular, Juan Francisco, who has himself been overseeing the farm since 2005.

The beans are harvested with extreme care. Only ripe cherries are allowed, and cherry post harvest selection always takes place at the farm in order to eliminate any remaining immature beans or dry pods. The coffee is processed at the San Carlos farm, also property of the Menéndez family, under strict quality controls, beginning with depulping which takes place within few hours of harvest. Wet Parchment is dropped in tanks and remains there until an adequate point of fermentation is reached, typically between 10 and 12 hours. The beans are then washed with clean fresh water to remove the mucilage, then dried on cement patios for 10 to 12 days until 12% humidity is achieved. The coffee is then stored to ensure that its quality is maintained over time.

La Suiza farm is grown to Bourbon, Pacamara and Catimor. Pacamara was introduced to the farm in the early 1990s. Some old Typica trees still remain on the farm are a legacy of Juan Francisco's grandparents. The coffee is shade grown to maintain the ecosystem balance, and a program of replanting coffee trees takes place every year in order to maintain a young productive plantation. Also applied each year are two foliar fertilisations; one application to prevent leaf rust; two soil fertilisations, coffee appreciative pruning, shade pruning, offshoot thinning and manual weed control.

In the cup this is super sweet. Think very sweet fruits like pineapple, mango and red cherry, mixed in melted milk with chocolate, tight acidity and a sweet lingering aftertaste, and you are getting somewhere close to this coffee.

Other Statistics:
Coffee varieties: Bourbón, Pacamara, Catimor
Type of Shade: Cypress, Pepeto Peludo, Copalchí, Pepeto de Río, etc.
Average Annual Rainfall: 2,200 mm
Average Temperature: 16º C
Type of Soil: Sandy loam
Annual Production: (60kg) 180 bags
Mill and company where lot was process: San Carlos Mill
Fauna: Armadillos, Central American Agouti, snakes, orioles, rabbits, etc.

GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: N 13º 52' 16.8''
Longitude: W 89º 36' 44.4''

Cupping notes

Clean cup 7/8
Sweetness 7/8
Acidity 7/8
Mouthfeel 6/8
Flavour 6/8
Aftertaste 7/8
Balance 6/8
Overall 6/8
Correction +36
Total 88

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