El Salvador Bourbon Natural Coffee
Updated: Oct 20, 2020
El Salvador Bourbon Natural coffee is a single origin specialty grade coffee beans from Los Pirineos farm, Usulutan region in El Salvador. This coffee is natural processed and roasted in medium level. Silky body and balanced acidity. Tropical fruit, toasted nut, rice tea flavor with floral, peach aroma.
Los Pirineos farm is located on a cone-shaped volcano and enjoys a microclimate. Situated on the Tepeca volcano in Usulutan, owned by the producer Gilberto Baraona. The farm is named after mountain slopes that geographically resemble those of the Pyrenees Mountains in Europe. It has a unique position between the towns of Berlín and Santiago de Maria and Joy, and most of the farm is planted with Gilberto’s favorite variety: Pacamara. He is an expert in cultivating and propagating this variety and has the only WCR certified nursery to sell the seeds. The cultivation of coffee at the farm was started in 1890 and according to family accounts, the original seeds of the property, and the mother plants were imported from Antigua Guatemala.
The coffee is separated into small to medium sized batches based up on different parts of the farm and coffee varietals. Currently the farm cultivates the varietals Bourbon Elite, Pacas and Pacamara, but the farm has also taken part in a Procafe project growing different varietals. As a result they have plots of native coffee trees, natural mutants and hybrids originated from all over the world. Los Pirineos farm was one of the pioneers in El Salvador to build its own Micro Coffee Mill. The producer still experiments with processing and drying methods.
Natural process moves the drying step much earlier in the process just after picking and eliminates the washing/soaking completely, so that the coffee bean is in contact with its fruity cherry much longer than traditionally-processed coffee. The whole coffee cherries are dried, sometimes on raised beds for 3-4 weeks and
sometimes raked into a single layer on cement
patios, and once they reach the ideal moisture level (no higher than 12%), their entire hulls are removed mechanically to reveal the green coffee seed. This extended contact between seed and fruit results in a much fruitier coffee. Well-trained pickers are given good incentives to select ripe cherries only. The coffee is brought to the Los Pirineos micro mill in the afternoon to be hand-sorted of unripes and over ripes.
This is a coffee of the Bourbon cultivar grown at the Los Pirineos farm in altitudes from 1400 – 1500 meters. The climate and growing conditions in this area is great despite the medium altitudes. The cold nights make the maturation slow and the flavor development really nice. Gilberto is a producer we also have worked with for years, and he’s always interested in playing around with different preparations and processes. This Bourbon is part of a project to develop different types of naturals. In this case it is produced as a natural dried carefully on raised beds for about 20 days. They manage the flavor development and drying times by building up layers.
Usulután, from the Nawat language (meaning "city of the ocelots"), is a department of El Salvador in the southeast of the country (Lenca region).
The Cordillera Tecapa Chinameca stretches from West to East throughout the Usulután department on southern El Salvador’s Pacific side. This mountain range is largely made up of volcanoes and is characterised by its stark contrast to the dry plains farther south. The peaks rise up to 1600 meters above sea level and provide ideal circumstances for both coffee growing and drying.
The region’s roughly 3000 growers and processors produce 12% of the total supply of Salvadoran coffee, mainly of the Bourbon, Pacas, Pacamara, Catisic, Cuscatleco, and Catuaí varieties. Although Usulutan is responsible for a relatively small portion of the national production, the mountains of Tecapa Chinameca are recognized for the quality coffee they produce due to their unique position near the ocean, excellent elevation, and volcanic soils rich with organic material and nutrients.
Currently, a large part of the farm is being renovated and planted with exotic varieties such as Geisha, Java, Rume Sudan, SL28, and five different varieties brought from Ethiopia. These varieties are first tested in the coffee variety garden, which features some 80 different varieties. There are some very intriguing varieties that have never been released for cultivation by the breeders such as Polisperma, whose cherries have up to ten seeds. The farm is also home to two mutations that are Gilberto’s best guarded secrets: Marageisha and Yellow Pacamara.
It is not only the growing microclimate that is unique, the drying facility is also a work of art. The drying beds are positioned between two peaks, creating a wind tunnel through which a breeze continuously passes. The beds are exposed to sun for twelve hours a day yet do not burn due to the cold winds. These factors lend themselves to the production of Natural and Honey processed coffees with a prolonged controlled fermentation.
Checkout this El Salvador Bourbon Natural coffee!