A few weeks ago, Vincent, Svet and Rose from Le Brûloir visited us in El Salvador. We had a great time with them at Las Cruces with Mr. Salaverria, Andres, Raul, Rocio, and Chicas. Here is a brief rundown of our trip to El Salvador.
What was your favourite part of the El Salvador trip?
For me it was the moment we went up to Finca San Francisco which is perched on the slopes of Lagunas de Las Ranas Volcano.
At that point we reached the edging finca "El Martillo" at 1700m with superb surrounding views of the Apaneca llamapatec region and that beautiful lot of lush ripe Yellow Catuai!
How does El Salvador differ from other origins?
El Salvador has a coffee producing model that has a "private sector" feel where development and experimentation is possible and value driven. This makes it an origin with lots of potential for intricate development type collaborations between buyers and prioducers. The coffee producing regions are also incredible in there diversity in terms of micro climate. The Volcanos and surrounding mountains create many diverse micro-sectors due to small variations in orientation, altitude, waterfall, drainage, winds and the concurring vegetation and wind breakers that grow along with the coffee plants.
What is something new you learned about processing while at Las Cruces?
I encountered my first demucilating machine! This type of technology could be very interesting for its ecological value, these machines have the potential to eventually help save time and water by bypassing the sometimes complexe fermetation steps required for washed coffees. We are very curious however to determine and evaluate how bypassing fermentation can effect the cup quality and complexity. We were able to ask Andres Sallaveria to produce one part of the catuai lot with the demucilator and one with traditional fermentation which should give us an idea of the effect on the cup.
Name a funny thing that happened during the trip that you would like to share,
Perhaps cupping 20 coffees on the morning I had the strongest stomach upset, fever and nausea!!!
PS. I would do it again any time! Cupping coffees at origin with friendly generous hosts is an honour and a great pleasure.
What was the favourite meal/food you had during the whole trip?
On the evening of that cupping day and after visiting the beautiful family farms and vistas, we were able to relax with a tremendously comfourting traditional chiken meal soup!