El Salvador Bourbon Natural
El Salvador Bourbon Natural
COUNTRY: El Salvador
Coffee production has fueled the El Salvador economy for more than a century. Unfortunately, since 2002, only 3.5% of the nation’s gross national product is from coffee production. Thankfully, coffee is once again making a comeback in El Salvador as new techniques and processes are being introduced by a new generation of coffee producers. Currently, over 90% of coffee grown in El Salvador is from shade coffee plantations.
The region around the town of Apaneca is an ideal microclimate for coffee cultivation. It is located in the Apaneca Illamatepec mountain range. With its altitude, prime weather and fertile volcanic soil, this is one of the most prestigious areas of coffee cultivation in El Salvador, and likely where coffee was first introduced to the nation.
FARM: Las Isabellas
Situated on the southern face of El Salvador’s majestic mountain range, Las Isabellas has maintained over 175 acres of natural forest. With natural spring water and waterfalls, it is an ode to Central American rainforests. The estate is also home to Taquendama beneficio, where the coffee can washed and dried on patios in the sun. This means that not only is the coffee grown on the estate, but also milled on site as well.
PRODUCER: Jose Roberto Santamaria
Las Isabellas is owned by Jose Roberto Santamaria and his wife Monica. They named the farm after their oldest daughter Isabella. Roberto has an energetic zest for life that is reflected in coffee that is intentional and full of identity. The family has a strong commitment to education and attends to the local school’s water supply, as well as the salary of some of the instructors, ensuring that the local school children are equipped, and able to receive a quality education. Las Isabellas is also currently partnering with the city of Apaneca to build a potable water system in the neighboring community of Monte Sagrado. The Santamaria family is showing by action, how much they feel the farm can benefit the region.
ALTITUDE: 850 – 1,200 MASL
VARIETALS: Red Bourbon
CUPPING SCORE: 84
Flavor: Dark chocolate, brown sugar, red fruits
Acidity: Mildly citrusy
Body: Round, creamy.
This coffee is really packed with dark chocolaty and syrupy flavors. The green beans smell like chocolate too! It roasts dark very quickly so you have to be careful when roasting, I suspect it has to do with the sugar content of the bean. Great for espresso IMO or if you like a strong cup! Good to blend with a lighter south american bean too!
Has great body and light acidity. Is dry processed so adds to the crema (if you’re using it in an espresso blend.
If you like light roasts and fruity flavors you would probably like this coffee. I prefer darker roasts and fuller bodied coffees. This didn't do it for me. Even dark roasted, the coffee is lacking in body. The flavor is also something that is likely an acquired taste. Not terrible, but I wouldn't buy it again.
I really like this bean, roasted light to medium, it has a bourbon taste that is a very nice change. Roasted darker it looses the bourbon flavor, but still tastes quite nice and rich. The first time I roasted it I thought I had burned it since my first sip impression was a dark roast coffee, but half way though my first mug, I realized I was tasting the bourbon and fell in love with this unique flavour. A great light to medium roast bean.
When roasted to a city roast it still tastes like it was roasted darker. There isn't much acidity in these beans, especially when compared to an Ethiopian natural which can have fruity notes. It is more similar to a Brazilian natural in that regard, despite the higher elevation. It's still a good coffee, but I was expecting something a little different and wish I didn't buy quite as much of it.