||#SSSSS No 06 – El Salvador Finca Argentina – Guachipelin Washed Portillo 2019
||#SSSSS Limited Editions 2019
||Varietal: Portillo (the “ll” is pronounced like “ee”)
Number 6 of 12, June 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 Argentina – Guachipelin Washed Portillo 2019
Welcome to #SSSSS June!! GOOD NEWS, EVERYONE! Your latest #SSSSS coffee was roasted + posted yesterday (Thursday, May the 30th) so it should be arriving with you very soon! Thought I'd change things up a little this month and send this message out on the morning of delivery (if you're in the UK that is, will hopefully be with international friends really soon though!) so you get a double whammy of #SSSSS awesomeness today : D
It’s been a super busy month here in Stafford, with not one, not two, but three shipping containers of coffee arriving with us. As soon as they come out of the box, we’re looking at them, so expect new Costa Rican, El Salvadorean and Kenyan lots to be going on the website soooooon!!
But which of these new big boxes of coffee was yours in…..?
The first shipping container to arrive from El Salvador is from my longtime friend Alejandro Martinez (of Finca Argentina fame). I’ve been buying Ale’s coffee for many years now and it’s always a pleasure to see it arrive. This year, you’re getting to try the first taste of it - even before we’ve got any on sale on the website.
Alejandro Martinez at Finca Argentina
The lot we have for you is one I picked out early on as super interesting, one for the varietal geeks - a washed Portillo. This is a super unusual varietal and it’s the first production year of it on the farm. Finca Argentina is split up into areas of the farm - the Portillo is growing in the Guachipelin tablon. But, what about the Portillo varietal? It’s not one we’ve had before, so as always I’ll defer to the expert and ask Ale to fill you in!
"Just like Pacas was a Bourbon mutation found in a Mr. Paca’s estate, Portillo is also a Bourbon mutation - found in Mr. Portillo’s estate, hence the name. I guess people are not very creative with names! A friend of my Dad gave him some seeds about 5 or 6 years ago and we planted the coffee and tasted it - It tasted good!
The tree is medium in size and showed a sturdy nature to it. We decided to plant it on the Guachipelin lot as the soil in Guachipelin is hard and clayish and we needed a cultivar that could thrive in the environment...hence the Portillo. Another interesting aspect to it is that it is more "tolerant" to leaf rust than a Bourbon or Pacas while keeping an excellent cup quality. Keep in mind that there are 20+ types of coffee leaf rust, so at least the cultivar has not shown an impact from the leaf rust types plaguing the country right now."
Alejandro Martinez & Stephen Leighton
Thanks, Ale! He’s also gone ahead and planted some in another part of the farm, but we haven’t got any beans from there yet. But how about the taste? Well, thankfully, he’s right about that one too - it’s tasty. It shows a lot of flavour similarities to the washed Bourbon from the farm, but with some interesting dried fruit notes.
In the cup what hits me first is milk chocolate and a big body. That sweet, heavy milk chocolate is nicely kept in balance by dried apricot. It moves towards raisin on the finish, which really becomes noticeable as it cools down.
Country: El Salvador
Nearest City: Turin
Farm: Finca Argentina
Farmer: Alejandro Martinez
Altitude: 1,300 m.a.s.l.
Variety: Portillo (the “ll” is pronounced like “ee”)
Processing system: Washed
"Quick Look" Guide:
Milk chocolate, dried apricot, raisin
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