El Salvador Coffee

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El Salvador Coffee

El Salvador Coffee: A Mild, Fruity, and Rich Coffee with a Long Finish

El Salvador is a small country in Central America that is known for its high-quality coffee. The coffee beans from El Salvador are grown at high altitudes, which gives them a rich flavor and a long finish.

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Where is the Coffee Farm in El Salvador?

This beautiful El Salvadoran coffee comes from Rafael and Carmen Elena Silva.  San Cayetano is a small 100% Bourbon farm of fifteen hectares, located in the volcanic Apaneca-Ilamatepec Mountain Range of El Salvador. The land was originally purchased in the early 1920s, by Arturo Silva. It sits at 1400m above sea level making it one of the highest farms of the Apaneca-Ilamatepec Mountain Range. Arturo Silva named the farm San Cayetano. Many years later the farm was inherited by Luis Arturo Silva, father of Rafael Silva, the current owner. 

How Many Coffee Workers are on the Farm?

The Silvas employ between 8 to 10 people year round and between 70 and 90 workers during the harvest period at San Cayetano. Coffee on the plantation is hand picked and processed at the Silvas mill, 'Beneficio San Pedro'. Having their own mill enables the Silva's to manage the processing and quality control. The coffee cherries are pulped on arrival at Beneficio San Pedro to remove some of the fruit on the outside of the coffee parchment and then they are dried on raised beds in a greenhouse, with workers employed to turn the beans regularly to ensure that the coffee does not over ferment and dries evenly.

How Are The Committed to Sustainability on the Coffee Farm?

The Silvas who farm in El Salvador are very committed to the environment. Initiatives at San Cayetano include recycling the coffee pulp, using earthworms to process it to create 'vermicompost' that is used on the trees. The coffee trees are protected from direct sunlight by native trees which also help to create a thick floor covering of organic material which helps to conserve soil moisture and avoid erosion. In addition the Silvas work hard to avoid erosion by planting natural barriers and drilling holes to improve drainage and minimize flooding. There are rain reservoirs all around the plantation to collect rain especially during the wet season and sustain the farm during the dry.

Interview with Carmen Elena Silva

What can coffee lovers do in the US to help promote specialty coffees and support coffee producers?

Keep drinking coffee but do not settle for a cheap one.  After you have tasted the real thing, is difficult to go back.  Help your coffee shops with your continued business.   Give them your support, show them that they are in the right business.  Shop owners can share education with their customers in the amount of effort, labor and skill it requires to produce one cup of coffee, from the seed to the cup and how many people are involved in the process.

 Courtesy Hacienda La Minita Coffee