El Salvador La Ilusion Bourbon 2010-2011


Bean name El Salvador La Ilusion Bourbon 2010-2011
Country El Salvador
Region Santa Ana
Other info Bourbon


This is the third year of us offering this coffee. I would like firstly to tell you a little about how we found it and its great producer, Juan José Ernesto Menéndez Argüello, or simply 'Neto'. In 2007, we were lucky enough to buy a coffee that came 8th in that year's Cup of Excellence competition from Neto's other farm, 'Alaska' (that we also have on offer here this year).

I went to El Salvador in 2008 on a buying trip, visiting some of the farms from which we buy. I actually arrived the evening of the Cup of Excellence awards. After the ceromony, I was walking around when this guy who seemed very popular came over to me and introduced himself. He was Neto who had just won the Cup of Excellence competition with his 'La Ilusion' farm, the sister of 'Alaska'. Neto invited me to visit the fam the next day. It was so great to finally meet someone who I had communicated with so many times via email.

Neto bought La Ilusión four years ago. The farm has coffee trees averaging sixteen years of age and is grown 95% to Bourbon (70% is red Bourbon and 25% is orange Bourbon). The remaining 5% is a combination of other varietals and it is possible to spot some Typica and Kenya trees. The farm is run using environmentally friendly practices, trying to maintain a balance with the surrounding ecosystem, which is part of a natural fauna corridor crucial for migratory and native birds. This is very important for Ernesto, since La Ilusión is neighbouring one of the most important national parks in El Salvador, known as 'Los Andes'. It is nestled on the Santa Ana volcano and delimits his farm with dense pine and cypress forest which itself provides a special microclimate for La Ilusión.

In the cup, I get fruit salad sweets on the front end (for those who don't know, these are very sweet fruit chews), and a lovely acidity to match that is not over powering but completely in balance with the whole cup. There is a lovely effervesence and clean taste like fresh lemonade mixed with Sherbet Dip Dabs, but it remains controlled and tight. One of the greatest cups of coffee that I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying.

We pay a high price for this coffee, some of which (not all) we pass on, but it is really special.

Cupping notes

Clean cup 7/8
Sweetness 8/8
Acidity 8/8
Mouthfeel 7/8
Flavour 8/8
Aftertaste 8/8
Balance 8/8
Overall 8/8
Correction +36
Total 98

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