Known as “the land of volcanoes,” El Salvador is the smallest Central American country (roughly the same size as New Jersey), but its reputation among specialty-coffee-growing regions has grown larger-than-life, especially since the early 2000s. While coffee was planted and cultivated here mostly for domestic consumption starting in the mid-1700s, it became a stable and significant crop over the next 100 years, notably increasing in national importance during the late 1800s, when the country’s indigo exports were threatened by the development and widespread marketability of synthetic dyes.
It is often said that the Cup of Excellence competition, which came to El Salvador in 2003, was the beginning of the new “wave” of interest in Salvadoran coffee, shining the first light on some of the special varieties the small country grows.
This microlot is sourced from the Chalatenango region, in the northern part of the country. Farms here are small on average (5–15 manzanas, or roughly 3.5–10.5 hectares) and many producers grow classic Salvadoran varieties such as Pacas and Pacamara as well as Bourbon.
Finca Cerro Negro is a 2-hectare farm with about 6,000 coffee trees, owned and operated by Luis Alonzo Hernandez. He grows various varieties, including Pacas, Bourbon, and a small amount of the leaf-rust resistant hybrid Catimor 90. The coffees are washed processed, picked, and depulped before a dry fermentation of between 8–16 hours, after which the coffee is washed and dried on patios for 6–8 days.
When he was younger, Luis hated working on his grandmother's coffee farm, and he never thought he'd work with coffee himself: Now, after 10 years as a grower, he feels like he has grown into coffee, and he feels like it has meaning because coffee touches everyone in the world. He hopes to expand his farm and plant more Pacamara and some Gesha trees.
Enjoy our Christmas duo (Luis Hernandaz our Christmas single origin with our Christmas blend - Noelcore Espresso) together, alternatively they will make a great Christmas present!