El Salvador Coffee Travelogue – January 2006

From the “way back machine” – another harvest time Central America trip to learn about the crop in El Salvador – a bit too early to do much cupping though.

This was one of 2 trips I made that year to learn more about El Salvador. The second trip was to attend the Cup of Excellence as a judge.

Coffee is well-managed in El Salvador generally. They care for the farms well, prune, and pick very well. In general the quality of the selective picking of ripe cherry is unmatched!

Somehow the coffees, many from 1200 meters or so, are a balanced and a bit average. This is surprising given there are so many old Bourbon variety coffees trees (as well as the similar Pacas variety).

With the excellent quality of harvesting, and good coffee tree cultivars you would expect the baseline coffees to be quite high in cup quality. Don’t get me wrong, they are good, and very useful in espresso I think.

A highlight in El Salvador can be the Pacas x Maragogype cross: Pacamara. When it is low grown it can taste a bit oniony, but from higher ranges it is fruited citric and a bit floral. – Thompson

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