Aida Batlle first made news when her Kilimanjaro swept the international Cup of Excellence in 2003. Then, at auction, it fetched the highest price per pound for a coffee in history. Now, 13 years later, the Kilimanjaro is still making waves in the coffee industry as […]
Tag: El Salvador
This is Evans Brothers’s fourth year of working directly with the Menendez family in El Salvador. This year they cupped 42 lots of coffee at the Menendez’s cupping lab, selecting Lot #3 from the beautiful Finca El Rosario as the standout (along with some Pacamara). Miguel Menendez […]
Located near the capital of San Salvador, the Monte Verde farm has been involved in coffee farming for five generations. The Alvarez family have been growing coffee in El Salvador for over 100 years. Their award-winning farms are located on the lush green hills of Santa Ana, in the west of the country, where rich volcanic soils and mild climate provide ideal conditions for growing coffee.
This coffee has limited availability each year and this crop is the first to be exported in the specialty coffee market, something that could be very beneficial to putting the farm on the map and providing higher income to help them continue to grow the success of not only the farm, but of the community as a whole.
The Alvarez family offers considerable support to local communities, with schools for children aged from 5 to 15 years and health clinics provided free on their farms. The family is also committed to developing sustainable practices in order to protect and preserve the natural environment. All of their coffee is grown under a canopy of shade trees, which enrich and conserve the soil and provide an important habitat for birds and other wildlife. The farm also doubles as a sanctuary for stray and neglected animals.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the El Salvador Monte Verde, from PERC Coffee in Savannah, Georgia. Feel free to pull up a chair.
origin: Santa Ana, El Salvador
farm: Finca Monte Verde
producer: Alvarez Family
elevation: 1150 – 1400 meters above sea level
cultivars: Red Bourbon, Yellow Bourbon
process: fully washed, patio dried
Hm, so the aroma of this El Salvador Monte Verde isn’t what I was expecting. In my experience, El Salvadoran coffees are mellow and sweet; fruity, but subdued. This particular El Salvadoran coffee is on the savory and herbal side of the spectrum, smelling more like a Sumatran than a Central American offering. Scents of green pepper, roasted nuts, tobacco, and citrus.
Taking my first few sips of the cup immediately post-brew, the flavor follows the nose. There are some fruit and sugar elements in its profile, but overall, this is a vegetal, herbal, spicy cup of coffee. Mild earthiness, mixed with nuances of vanilla, coats the tongue while flavors of green pepper, tobacco, hazelnut, cinnamon, anise, and clove. As I mentioned, there is a bit fruit in the cup, which shows itself in the flavor and acidity of a navel orange. Each sip concludes with a dry, astringent finish.
Medium body; silky mouthfeel; citric acidity; dry finish.
This was a really tough coffee for me. I dialed it in several different ways, but didn’t get the results I was expecting. Being an El Salvadoran coffee, I was expecting the cup to be mildly sweet and fruity; being a PERC Coffee offering, I was expecting it to be roasted to perfection.
Instead, PERC’s El Salvador Monte Verde was a cup of astringent herbs and earthiness. To be fair, there is some mildly citric sweetness as the cup cools but it’s so mild compared to everything else going on in the cup.
Overall, it was a relatively disappointing experience. Not terrible, but definitely not as good as it could have been.
Finca Malacara B is a direct trade coffee from Chantuc, one of Bold Bean’s producing partners in El Salvador. During their visit with the Dumont family this past spring they cupped many great coffees and witnessed the detailed processes that go into creating this outstanding coffee. The history of Malacara […]
Coffee shopping can be a bit confusing. Is there really a difference between beans grown in Colombia and ones from Ethiopia? There is! The continent on which a coffee is grown has a remarkable effect on its flavor profile. Flavors can also differ from region […]