El Salvador Finca Bonanza
Region: Santa Ana, western El Salvador
Altitude: 1,490 m.a.s.l.
Variety: red bourbon
Tasting Notes: tablet, apple, chocolate
We’re excited to be roasting this excellent coffee from El Salvador. Our roast highlights the creamy mouthfeel and tablet-like sweetness in the coffee. The chocolatey character in this coffee isn't a simple one-note chocolate box offering like some of the easy drinking Brazils (which are so popular). It's a complex sweetness that is balanced against its acidity, like a fresh green apple or a crisp pear. These flavours are a perfect counterpoint to the coffee's creamy body. This is an excellent all-rounder for brewing, good for everything from espresso to cafetiere.
Finca Bonanza is situated on the rich soil of the foothills of the Santa Ana Volcano in the western part of the country. The farm is owned by Joe Molino, but was established by his uncle, Salvador Portillo, and has been producing coffee since the 1950’s.
Speciality coffee in El Salvador is still rebounding from a terrible epidemic of a parasitic fungus known as coffee leaf rust, which began spreading out of control in the 2011-2012 growing season. Over the subsequent years, the fungus spread across Central American coffee farms, 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 from 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 a highly prized thing 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.