Solar panels and wind power are helping this El Salvador coffee mill move to 100% renewable energy
Alejandro Valiente has worn many hats in the coffee industry, and almost every single article or blog post you find online about him (and there are many!) mention his drive to push technological advancement at both the farm level and in the coffee mills he develops in the name of quality improvement.
Over the past few years, Alejandro has teamed up with San Francisco’s Four Barrel coffee roasters to build a buying operation in the Metepán highlands of El Salvador coffee had an undeservingly poor reputation for years, marred mostly by the inability to deliver coffee of high quality in an unstable political climate. Unfortunately, agriculture is the first to suffer in revolution, More, called CafenorSV. Alejandro is no stranger to this region, as it’s where he grew up and currently has coffee farms with his family.
This past year Alejandro undertook a major project to move his entire milling operation to running off of 100% renewable energy. Unfortunately, none of this was plug and play, and Alejandro and his team had to customize much of the equipment needed (solar panels/battery banks/wind turbines, etc) to power their wet and dry mills, Cupping is a method of tasting coffee by steeping grounds in separate cups for discrete amounts of ground coffee, to reveal good flavors and defects to their fullest. It has formal elements and methodology in More lab, coffee warehouse and office area.
Not only has Alejandro supported the same group of coffee farmers in Metepán during this time, but he’s also spent much of the last three years working with them to increase quality and yields using Grown without the use of artificial fertilizers, herbicides, etc.: Organic coffee has been grown according to organic farming techniques, typically without the use of artificial fertilizers. Some farms have more local Organic Certification than the More agronomical practices such as permaculture and beneficial fungi.
We bought 5 different lots of coffee from Alejandro this year, all varietal separations of As the name implies, Pacamara is a large bean cultivar, a cross between Pacas and Maragogype with unique flavor properties. This variant originated in El Salvador in 1958, and has spread to nearby Central American More and A mutation of Bourbon cultivar that appeared in El Salvador in 1949: Pacas is a natural mutation of Bourbon cultivar that appeared in El Salvador in 1949. It has good cup character, and is an More (under the name “Santa Ana”).