El Salvador San Rafael Fully Washed Pacas 2012


Bean name El Salvador San Rafael Fully Washed Pacas 2012
Country El Salvador
Region Santa Ana
Other info Varietal: Pacas


In its second year with us, and another of our direct trade coffees. This is a coffee we happy to see back (and we also have some more options to go with it)

First cultivated in 1905 by the father of the present owner, Don Fransisco Alberto Pacas Figueroa, San Rafael lies at the top of his estate at an altitude of 4,400 feet in the canton of Palo de Campana, and is located near to the city of Santa Ana, close to Ochupse Arriba.

The owner experimented with many varietals of in his nurseries but found that the Bourbon variety in San Rafael continually produced the best coffee. His son continues to experiment with new varieties of coffee to this day.

On the farm you can find papaya trees, banana trees and a variety of national flora and fauna including the famous Balsamo trees. The coffee is shade grown and all the maintenance is done by hand (weeding, etc) rather than via the use of chemicals. As much as possible they try to re-use the waste produced via the processing of the coffee for fertilising their crops.

The coffee is hand picked and then sorted by hand to remove any waste or unsuitable beans before going to processing, this provides employment for a number of families in the area during the picking season.

I was lucky enough to visit the farm during this years harvest. Its funny but I found out that I have passed this farm around 5 or six times in past years on visits to El Salvador, and it was on the route to a really famous farm we have bought from (and very close). We do our normal walk around the farm checking out conditions of plants and of workers conditions things like that. The talk wanders to the varietals on the farm, which I thought was 100% bourbon but they told me they also grow a small amount of pacas. So being the pro coffee buyer I am, I asked them if they would seperate it. They told me no one had ever asked them to, but sure that should be no problem. But then the farm manager said to me about how their is an old story attached to the pacas.

In 1930 Don Francisco re planted a 3/4 of a manzana of the farm with seed stock from some special trees he had seen on San Rafael. These trees seemed to yeild much more than the other borbon trees, and seemed healthier and thrived far more. This re planted part of the farm yeilded 20% more than the rest of the farm, and this got nicknamed San Ramon Bourbon. In 1956 the question got too much for Don Francisc, so he sought to find out what this plant really was. They inlisted the services of a visiting botonist from the univercity of florida. Dr Cogwill took two trees from the farm to take a closer look back at the university. The story goes that Dr Cogwill meant to label the trees with the name San Rafael, but forgot the name of the farm, but remebered the name of the family who owned the farm the Pacas family so marked them Pacas, and the name of the varietal pacas was born. This is the first farm it was found on, but also this is the first time it has ever been seprated and tried as a stand alone offering. This I find very exciting.

In the cup this shares many of the properties of its Bourbon brother, 'Werther's Originals' sweetness, great mouthfeel, but where it differs is in the super clean mango acidity that runs through its core. A delicious example of pacas at its best.

Roasting Information:
This one is a medium roast, no more. Into the first pops of second if you must, but no more.

"Quick Look" Guide:
Mango, sweet, hazelnuts, buttery mouthfeel, Werther's Originals aftertaste.

Good Filter: Yes, Good Espresso: Yes

Cupping notes

Clean cup 7/8
Sweetness 7/8
Acidity 8/8
Mouthfeel 7/8
Flavour 7/8
Aftertaste 7/8
Balance 7/8
Overall 7/8
Correction +36
Total 93

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