Known as “the land of volcanoes,” El Salvador is the smallest Central American country (roughly the same size as New Jersey), but its reputation among specialty-coffee-growing regions has grown larger-than-life, especially since the early 2000s. While coffee was planted and cultivated here mostly for domestic consumption starting in the mid-1700s, it became a stable and significant crop over the next 100 years, notably increasing in national importance during the late 1800s, when the country’s indigo exports were threatened by the development and widespread marketability of synthetic dyes.
By the late 1970s coffee exports accounted for 50 percent of the GDP, but socioeconomic and political unrest hurled the country into civil war for more than a decade, and in the 1980s various land-redistribution projects and agrarian reform disjointed the coffee industry and caused the market to decline. Lacking the resources to continue farming, producers abandoned their coffee farms, and many were left overgrown and unharvested for years until a peace agreement was reached in the 1990s.
It is often said that the Cup of Excellence competition, which came to El Salvador in 2003, was the beginning of the new “wave” of interest in Salvadoran coffee, shining the first light on some of the special varieties the small country grows.
Orlando Aguilar comes from a coffee producing family, which has developed traditions in El Salvador. As a producer himself, he has focused on specialty coffee by working with strong varieties in an ideal climate with good, fertile soil. The harvest at Buena Vista farm is done selectively and by hand. After harvest, the coffee is fermented in sacks for 9–12 hours before being depulped, washed, and dried on raised beds for 10–13 days.
Notes of Caramel, Red Berries, Lemon and Milk Chocolate.
Country El Salvador
Region Alotepec, Chalatenango
Farm Buena Vista
Altitude 1300 masl
Proc. Method Washed