- Origin: El Salvador
- Region: Ilamatepeque Apaneca
- Town: Bolivar
- Farm: Miramar
- Farmer: Mauricio Saurbrey
- Crop: 2023
- Altitude: 17500m
- Variety: Bourbon (elite)
- Processing: Anaerobic washed
A note from our supplier, Nordic Approach:
This farm is not owned by the Salaverria family but by a close friend who the family have worked with for years. Dr. Mauricio Saurbrey named the farm for its well located positioning near the ocean, ‘mar’ means ocean and ‘mira’ means look. It’s locations means that is gets winds from the Pacific Ocean. Locally the farm is known for its Bourbon elite, that is said to be the most prestigious of Bourbons.
Coffee is harvested by selectively picking only the fully ripe cherries. The lot is hand-sorted at the farm. The cherries are taken to Beneficio Las Cruces, and are then soaked in water to clean the cherries and remove floaters. Coffee is placed in fermentation tanks for 84 hours under shade in a temperature-controlled environment.
Coffee is depulped and the mucilage is mechanically removed. Then, it is placed in fermentation tanks and soaked under clean water for 10 hours. The cherries are taken to patios and placed on thin layers for the first 48 hours. After this time, the layers are thickened and coffee is constantly moved until moisture is at 10%. The average drying time is 21 days.
This farm is part of a project with an El Salvadorian producer, Jose Antonio Salaverria and his two sons Andres and Jose Antonio, the younger. They are 6th generation coffee producers, their ancestors started growing coffee in Huachapan. Jose Antonio Senior’s father offered him a house in 1970, but Jose Antonio asked for a farm instead. He was given Finca Los Nogales, which remains in the family, and is one of the farms supplying us with coffee.
The coffees from the different farms are all processed at their beneficio (central mill). They bought Beneficio Las Cruces in 1990 and have made significant improvements since then. Much of their success is due to their passion for coffee. They are hard working and realistic, patient and focused on quality to make their business sustainable. They have also built a great team. Jose Antonio considers his staff as the company’s biggest asset.
The family has three main areas of coffee production around the Santa Ana volcano in El Salvador. They have always produced high quality at a larger scale, but previously the coffee was mainly separated into a few brand names based on the three main areas, Santa Rita, San Francisco and El Molino.
El Molino is an old mill with surrounding farms and was bought 80 years ago by the family. The farms surrounding El Molino are around 100 years old. The family have owned the San Francisco complex since about 2002, and Santa Rita since 2005, but their three coffee growing areas actually consist of a great number of farms, some they inherited, some they have bought over the last decades.
When we started a quality program with the Salaverria family in 2011, they began lot separation in earnest. Most importantly, they began separating several small farms and blocks with the better altitude, quality potential and growing conditions. This way we could buy from the farms located from 1400 to 1750 meters above sea level. This is regarded as a good altitude in El Salvador where it is very hard to grow coffees above this altitude. In addition to lot separation by farms and blocks (tablones), we are also working with the Salaverrias to optimise quality by experimenting with processes to prepare a different and value added product through fermentation and soaking, as well as the drying methods.
The Salaverrias grow a number of different varietals at their farms. The majority is still a mix of the traditional Bourbon Elite, and something they call Hibrido San Fransisco which is a mix of Bourbon Elite and Pacas.
The most impressive thing about coffees from the Salaverria family is the overall quality of picking: deep blood red and uniform colour. Considering the volumes they grow, it is pretty amazing!
The coffees are, for the most part, processed based on trials and adjustments we made together at the wet mill. They use eco pulpers called Jotagallo that manage to remove about 80% of the mucilage. Their standard procedure is to take the parchment from the pulpers directly to the patio for drying. We have decided to soak most of our purchased coffees overnight for ten hours after pulping as we believe it will make the coffee even more elegant. We feel the cup is brighter and cleaner, seems like shelf life can be increased and the acidity profile more distinct. The cups tend to be more closed in the beginning, but they normally open up some months after picking. We tend to like these more. The coffees are then dried on clay patio for up to 15 days, or on drying beds in sun or under shade.
Most of these coffees are of what the Salaverrias call the San Francisco variety—that’s a hybrid of Pacas and the old Bourbon Elite, developed at the farm. Some of the blocks do contain old Bourbon trees, Bourbon Elite, and a mix of Bourbon and Pacas. Occasionally you can find Pacamaras as well as Catuai, Caturra and Catimors. They have recently established blocks and gardens experimenting with new and exotic cultivars.
Leaf rust has been one of the major challenges for farmers in El Salvador the last years. Many producers are now giving up and abandoning their farms. The Salaverrias have worked the last 8 years to regenerate the soil through usage of Huisil (organic compost/fertilizer) as a soil regenerator.
Jose Antonio Senior is one of the founders of the Huisil factory, where they produce fertiliser based on organic waste. Coffee pulp makes up 40%, the rest is from fish, meat, chicken dung, bones and plants. It smells terrible during production, but after it is dried it is converted into pellets which are easier on the nose, plus this fertliser really works! We have actually tasted some trials with this 100% organic fertiliser and it also seems to improve the flavorus. The problem is that with the aggressive leaf rust attacks, it’s a gamble. They risk losing a lot of their production if they don’t use the traditional fertilisers in the mix.
According to Jose Antonio junior, who is managing the agronomy side, it’s about making the plants healthy, strong and resistant. This is what they currently do:
Use 50% Huisil in all farms as well as nitrogen to develop new growth and potassium for the bean to grow and develop. They also use a combination of boron, sink, sulfur and magnesium. In June/July they need a complete mix to help the plant develop the beans and stay strong. They apply two complex mixes and one pure nitrogen. They also apply foilars which are applied directly to the tree such as a copper foliar which creates a layer to prevent further leaf rust, but doesn’t kill the rust that is already there.
They experiment with different pruning and stumping methods which vary depending on the altitude and the cultivar. For many of the farms with Bourbon tree, they use the traditional “parra” method where they bend down the mother stems and allow up to four new shoots to develop into smaller trees on each stem. One old tree can cover a couple of square meters and they become very productive if you do it right.
Our coffee comes in craft paper bags which contain a plastic liner on the inside to guarantee freshness of our coffee. Please dispose properly at your local plastic trash container. The Village Coffee is roasted fresh every week, and best consumed within four weeks after roast date. Store your coffee in a dry, dark and cool place, avoid the fridge.