Video tour of Finca San Luis in El Salvador

Take a video tour of Finca San Luis during the harvest peak with the Duarte family

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of visiting Finca San Luis in Concepción de Ataco, El Salvador. The farm is owned by the Duarte family, whose have a long history farming coffee in El Salvador. San Luis is more than 100 years old, and the decades-old Bourbon trunks you see are a testament to its age!

At 30 manzanas in size, San Luis is a decent chunk of land broken into 12 different plots throughout Ataco. Originally, the farm was planted almost entirely in Bourbon. But a decade ago coffee leaf rust killed off a lot of the original trees, causing the Duarte’s to rethink the varietal makeup of the farm in the hopes of revitalizing production.

A shrub at Finca San Luis loaded with coffee cherries during the harvest peak.
A shrub at Finca San Luis loaded with coffee cherries during the harvest peak.

Instead of following the understandable trend of replanting the entire farm in disease resistant hybrids, they chose to diversify their plant selection between older Bourbon and Typica types, and hybrids that are known for good cup potential and high yield. This translated to stumping a lot of the old Bourbon to promote new growth (the massive stumps are truly a sight to behold!), and planting other varieties like Tabi, Castillo, H1, and even some Caturra and Pacamara, to help hedge against risk a bit.

Last year we bought a small 6 bag lot of dry process coffee from San Luis, along with several larger lots from their other farms. The cup quality was outstanding, and I think our customers agreed as it barely lasted a week on the site! We were thrilled to hear they were producing a lot more dry process coffee this year, and managed to contract 40 bags that we hope to make available before Summer.

Join us on a video tour of San Luis during the harvest peak, and listen to the Duarte’s tell us a little bit about the farm’s long history, and describe some of the challenges they face today.

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