March 15, 2024

El Pedregal / El Salvador


Flavor Profile:
Dried Prune, Hint of blood orange, Nuts bar, Sticky.
Dried prunes, faint blood orange, nut bars, thick texture.

Origin: El Salvador (El Salvador)
Producer: Jose Antonio Salaverria & Sons
Region: Santa Ana > Apaneca Ilamatepeque
Farm: Finca San Francisco > El Pedregal
Variety: Bourbon
Process: Washed
Altitude: 1500masl
Farm size: 294 ha
Plot size: 41 ha
Harvest: 2023



This coffee has a pleasant, syrupy sweetness and mouthfeel reminiscent of chewing on nut bars, yet it is packed with a distinct fruitiness redolent of dried prunes and blood oranges, resulting in a beautifully clean flavor profile.

The Jose Antonio Saraveria family owns three large farms surrounding the Santa Ana Volcano in El Salvador, where they are passionate about coffee production. Their main farm, Finca San Francisco, spans a vast 294 hectares, divided into tablones (small plots) ranging from 1200 to 1700 meters above sea level, with cultivation and processing managed separately for each plot.

This particular lot comes from the El Pedregral plot, situated at around 1400 meters above sea level. This plot primarily grows the Bourbon and Hibrido de San Francisco varieties, renowned for producing the sweet, delicate flavors characteristic of Salvadoran coffee. In 1990, the family acquired their own Beneficio Las Cruces mill and has been continuously improving its operations. At this mill, they use an eco-pulper known as a jotagallo, which removes over 80% of the mucilage. The beans are then soaked overnight to enhance their fruitiness and ensure a clean cup profile. After this, the beans undergo 15 days of sun and shade drying, with meticulous processing at every stage.

Their greatest strength lies in the meticulous quality control where only uniformly deep red, fully ripe cherries are harvested by hand. Maintaining this level of homogeneity from the immense volume of coffee harvested at this farm is a testament to their extraordinary efforts. Even during the roasting process, I was amazed by how few defective beans or foreign objects were present. 

They also place a strong emphasis on sustainable production, with 60% of their output being Rainforest Alliance certified. Employee wellbeing is highly prioritized, with a system of lucrative performance-based bonuses for managers to incentivize productivity. There is an excellent team dynamic, and Jose Antonio considers his employees to be his greatest asset.

Environmental protection and contributing to the local community are also major focus areas. The farm maintains a resident workforce of 50-60 employees who receive fair wages and access to education. Efficient working conditions are provided to foster an agreeable labor environment. Furthermore, they give back to the local community through initiatives such as supporting the construction and operation of a medical clinic and donating land for schools.

It is this blend of tradition, pride, and dedication to producing high-quality, sustainable coffee that makes the Saraveria family's approach so appealing in this offering.