El Salvador Finca Bonanza


Region: Santa Ana, western El Salvador
Altitude: 1,490 m.a.s.l.
Variety: red bourbon
Processing: washed
Tasting Notes: chocolate, creamy, plum jam

This is the second year we’ve roasted this coffee from producer Joe Molina. His farm, Finca Bonanza is situated on the rich soil of the foothills of the Santa Ana Volcano in the western part of El Salvador. We love this coffee for its sweet plummy, cherry, jammy fruit notes, rich round body and the fantastically long chocolate finish. This is one we’ll be brewing at home using all methods and we’ll be featuring it in the cafe as our mellow espresso. 

One of the worst diseases facing specialty coffee farmers is known as coffee leaf rust. Actually a parasitic fungus, leaf rust began spreading out of control on Central American farms during the 2011-2012 growing season. Over the subsequent years the fungus spread from farm to farm, devastating crops. According to World Coffee Research 70% of Central American farms were affected, and El Salvador was the worst hit. Many farmers found that the dropping market price of coffee paired with the costs of fungicides needed to combat the rust meant they could no longer make a living producing coffee.

So, when Molina discovered a coffee tree on his farm that seemed resistant to rust, he named it Old Chap and started cultivating its seedings. He’s also worked with the University in Santa Ana to clone the plant. Red Bourbon is one of the most genetically important arabica varieties in the world, known for excellent quality in the cup. But it is also highly susceptible to rust, pests and other diseases. So, a Red Bourbon plant that is resistant to rust is highly prized in the specialty coffee world. 

This coffee was hand picked and then trucked down the mountain to a mill in El Borbollon, just outside the town of Santa Ana. At the mill the cherries were pulped (skin and fruit removed) and left to ferment overnight. The fermented beans were then washed in a machine to remove any remaining mucilage then taken to drying patios to dry in the sun for between 8 to 10 days.

Are you storing your coffee correctly? Find out how to keep your beans in tip top condition with our blog post How to Store Coffee.

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