El Salvador Single Estate - Finca Los Pirineos - Extra Washed Bourbon
Known as "the land of the volcanoes", El Salvador is the smallest central American country (about the same size as Slovenia). These volcanoes ensure the soil is extremely rich and fertile, making it perfect for coffee growth. Around 90% of the country’s coffee is shade grown, which helps to maintain the rich biodiversity that thrives in rural El Salvador. The coffee come from the Los Pirineos farm which has produced 'Cup of Excellence' coffees a staggering eight times.
Variety: Bourbon Elite
Bourbon is one of the more widely grown varieties of Arabica coffee. It's a natural mutation of the older 'Typica' variety and is prized for it's figgy sweetness and gentle brightness. It's balanced with a smooth texture and a sweet, just-right finish. Over half of all coffee grown in El Salvador is of the bourbon variety.
(Fun fact: the name 'Bourbon' originates from the Indan Ocean - when a cutting of 'Typica' coffee was planted and spontaneously mutated in the soil of Bourbon Island (nowadays called Réunion).
The Farm: Los Pirineos
The 'Los Pirineos' farm is located at 1450 meters above sea level near the top of the Tecepa Volcano in the south-east of El Salvador. (It is named after the Pyrenees mountains in Europe as the terrain looks similar to the mountains between France and Spain).
The farm has been in the Baraona Family for more than 120 years, since the family first moved there in 1880. Gilberto, one of the 3rd generation of coffee farmers from the Baraona family, now owns the farm and has designed and built the most modern specialty coffee mill in the whole of El Salvador. All of the processing takes place on the farm, and Gilberto oversees all aspects of production with a meticulous eye for detail.
The farm and mill have 50 full-time employees and they take on a further 75 during the peak of the harvest. Gilberto’s obsession with quality means he pays well above the legal minimum wages to all his staff. He requires far more precision and attention to detail than the average coffee farm and so he has invested time and money in the people who manage the processing. As a result of the training and support he offers, even his temporary staff are consistent from year to year.
Solid and rich. Tasting notes of brown sugar, granola, caramel fudge, chocolate milk, dried fruit, almond, sweet
Cupping Score - 85.25
Processing - Extra Washed
This coffee is extra washed - which is quite unusual.
Generally the 'washed' process looks like this:
The skin and flesh are removed mechanically from the coffee bean and the remaining bits of pulp are removed in a 24-36 hour fermentation. After fermentation the beans are washed and graded.
The extra step involves soaking the coffee a second time after the mucilage has been removed. This takes 12 to 24 hours. The process can prolong the coffee’s shelf life and also improve the quality. Gilberto tells us to expect greater clarity and acidity.
The extra washed beans are spread on raised drying beds and sun-dried under shade drying beds for 3 - 4 weeks.
Muttley & Jack's Coffee Roasters
Muttley & Jack’s is a prize winning coffee roastery based in Stockholm. Each month members receive a box of freshly roasted specialty grade coffee with an education pack to help coffee lovers and the coffee curious get more out of their coffee.
The 'Coffee Experience' packages together speciality coffee, travel and education.