Epic. Seasonal. Crafted.
Santa Maria Estate, El Bálsamo, El Salvador.
Cherry, crab apple, tropical acidity.
For six generations, the Aguilar family has produced coffee on the shade-rich land on the north-eastern slope of the San Salvador Volcano. The estates cover nearly 160 hectares at altitudes ranging from 1,250 to 1,700 meters (4,100 to 5,577 feet), the top of the farm being unusually high for El Salvador and lending to great coffee growing potential.
Along with many farms in El Salvador, leaf rust hit hard a few years back, although it need to be said that the farm withstood the outbreak well and has rebounded even more since. A lot of that is to do with great farm work, agronomy investment and experience, but as with many producers, diversification of plant stock has become an important component of ensuring sustainability of production for years to come. The key in terms of ensure cup quality in Fernando’s case is to match the right varietal with the most suited farm area and then with the right process – something we have partnered with other producers on before.
This Cuscatleco variety provides good rust and pest resistance at the lower altitudes of the Estate (although at 1200m still pretty high for El Salvador), and is noted for an impressive acidity. When paired with processes that balance the acidity with additional sweetness –the resulting cup profile is deeply impressive, sweet, complex and a real find.
The all the coffee from Santa Maria & sister estate Las Mercedes has been processed in keeping with ecological friendly processes at the nearby Tuxpal mill, in the case of the naturals on raised beds to allow more even airflow and drying.
The Aguliar’s story is the microcosm of the El Salvador coffee industry, through peaks, troughs, civil war, relocation, peace, return, regrowth, rust and pivot to the highest quality to secure the future. We are proud to be on that journey with them.
Cherry, crab apple, tropical acidity. A pleasingly bright natural coffee, to go along with typical sweetness you would expect from a natural. An impressive coffee!
Producer: Fernando & Juan Aguilar
Location: El Bálsamo
Varietal: 100% Cuzcatleco