EL SALVADOR - BUENOS AIRES | Macerated Natural

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Owner: Various Smallholder Producers
Washing Station: El Borbollon Mill
Location: Buenos Aires, Apaneca Ilamatepec
Varietal: Bourbon, Kenia, Pacas
Process: Macerated Natural
Altitude: 1300-1600 masl
Cup Score: 86.25
Cup profile: Raspberry and lemon with notes of amaretto and dark chocolate

Description

We have been working with El Borbollon mill since the establishing Falcon Specialty in 2012 and traditionally we have bought from larger estates and farms associated with El Salvador. We have pushed to find projects working with small holders in the Apaneca Ilamatepec Mountain range and recently we were fortunate to be introduced to the Buenos Aires Project bringing together small growers from the vicinity of their farms, that have high quality coffee potential and the desire to become involved in a sustainability scheme.

The project started with 25 growers with average farms size below 5 hectares, these growers have properties ranging from 1,300 to 1,700 masl on the slopes of the Santa Ana volcano, which is one of the main growing areas in El Salvador.

The community project had some main objectives:

  1. Improve the living condition of small growers, by giving them better access to market and logistics. The price received by the growers was almost double the local market rate.
  2. Create a stronger community bond in the area.
  3. Improve the community knowledge on how to grow higher quality coffees and gain more value for their product. (For some of the growers it was the first time they have met an international buyer)

Most of the coffees grown by this group are heirloom arabicas and Bourbons with some other exotic and hybrid varietals that El Borbollon has started to screen at the mill and cup.

All the coffee is collected from up at the farms by truck that brings the cherry down to the mill. It is floated and separated the coffee is then placed submerged in a sealed container for 24 hours before then being removed and cleaned. From here it is then placed onto raised beds left for 1 day before then being turned regularly every hour to ensure an even drying down to 11%. The Maceration process should bring out a more pronounced acidity but still with the body and flavour of a natural.