||#SSSSS No 04 – El Salvador Finca Los Andes Washed SL28 2019
||#SSSSS Limited Editions 2019
||Apaneca-Ilamatepec Mountain Range
Number 4 of 12, April 2019, in the #SSSSS 2019 - Steve's Super Secret Stash Subscription. A limited availability series of roasted coffee beans.
This month it's: El Salvador Finca Los Andes Washed SL28 2019
Buenas tardes mi amigos y amigas!!! Welcome to #SSSSS April!
February and March saw me travelling in Central America, which is always a fun and exciting time of year, but I’m also pretty happy to be home now and ready to enjoy a very special coffee from one of the people I was visiting a few weeks ago.
Very quickly before I get into talking about this month's coffee, a quick bit of news - London Coffee Festival! Are you going? If you are, come and say HELLO! We've got a space in the Roaster's Village for all 4 days where Dale, Amy, James, Will & Katie (+ me on Saturday!) are brewing a wide range of our coffees for you to enjoy. If you're visiting the festival please do make sure to come and see us : )
Anyway, on with the show - as you've probably already spotted, this month's coffee is El Salvador Los Andes SL28 Washed.
If you were onboard the #SSSSS train last year, you might remember this coffee featured in January – well I loved it so much I decided it needed to come back this year. Los Andes belongs to my longtime friend Juan Jose Ernesto Menéndez Agüello. I first met Ernesto in 2008, when I was in El Salvador at the Cup of Excellence. He had just won with his farm La Ilusion. I’d already bought a lot from its sister farm, Finca Alaska, through Cup of Excellence the year before so I knew he could produce amazing coffee, but that meeting marked the start of a love affair with La Ilusion that has lasted ever since.
Over the years, Ernesto has been able to slowly build up his stable of farms, all perched on the Santa Ana volcano. He bought Los Andes in 2009 and it’s done well in Cup of Excellence as well as becoming a firm favourite of mine. The high elevation of the Santa Ana volcano makes for slow maturation of the coffee cherries, which gives us a sweet, crisp & clean flavour. The high altitude also means he’s one of the last coffee producers in El Salvador to be harvesting each year, so they’re always an exciting finale to our influx of new crop deliveries.
This lot is SL28 (Scott Labs number 28), which is more common to see in Kenya than in El Salvador. It came to the farm over 60 years ago after the farm's former owner went on a hunting trip in Kenya (trust me, that kind of seed smuggling is a lot more frowned upon these days!!!). Despite many years in El Salvador, this varietal still delivers some of the classically Kenyan characteristics balanced against the best of El Salvador.
In the cup this makes me think of Sprite! It’s sweet but zingy with lemon and lime, which moves into passionfruit on the finish. There’s a little shoulder of white wine too, but as It cools the sweetness comes to the fore, reminding me of toffee with its flavour and velvety texture.
Country: El Salvador
Region: Apaneca-Ilamatepec mountain range
City: Santa Ana
Farm: Los Andes
Farmer: Juan Jose Ernesto Menéndez Argüello
Processing system: Washed
As always, I hope you enjoy this very special coffee as much as I do!
"Quick Look" Guide:
Sprite, passionfruit, white wine, toffee
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