FOR THE OBSESSIVES.
‘The Eagle’. We had the pleasure of first cupping this coffee at the mill it was processed, El Carmen in Ataco with the highly engaging Fernando and Juan Manuel Alfaro in their new cupping lab. A second tasting a few days later confirmed that this was well worth getting.
Another producer with Cup of Excellence pedigree (14th in 2013), and now managed by Ricardo Ariz who holds a Masters in Economics took over the running of the farm. Since then he fully emerged himself in the wider world of coffee and importantly built a team of 7 full time staff, all experts in their field including a full time agronomist, as well as the 60 or so seasonal staff during harvest.
Ricardo’s staff have helped him build an inventory of the plant stock growing on the farm. In total they have discovered 7 unique varieties on the farm which they have been gradually separating and testing for both their cup quality, resilience and yield. In addition to these varieties, the plantation has mainly Bourbon planted throughout it (around 80% of the plantation), and some small plots of SL28, SL34, Pacamara, Yellow Caturra and Geisha. Bourbon is particularly susceptible to leaf rust (roya) and the vigilance of producers and staff to continually monitor the plants to react to any outbreak can mean the difference between a great harvest of a sweet and appealing varietal, or a very low yield and dead plant stock.
El Aguila benefits from a favourable microclimate around the farm. With a high altitude, rich volcanic soil, plenty of rainfall and temperatures of 18 – 24 degrees Celsius, the farm has the great conditions to produce exceptional coffee. Shade has been planted, primarily Inga trees. Fertilisation is only performed after careful soil analysis by the agronomist, and weed control is performed manually to avoid the use of herbicides. Other practices on the farm include erosion control using vegetative barriers, and the composting of pruned branches to create more organic matter for the farm.
Sweet red berries, lime and apple, milk chocolate and wonderfully rounded.
Producer: Mauricio & Ricardo Ariz
Location: Chalchuapa, Auachapan
Varietal: Red Bourbon
Process: Washed, patio and raised bed drying
Altitude: 1500 to 1700m