This is the first in a series of coffees from a special project on the Las Brumas farm. The ‘Wild Forest Project’ is a previously uncultivated forest on the farm. Rather than clearing the land for agricultural use, as is often the norm, Ernesto Menéndez has spent the last 8 years cultivating coffee under the forest canopy, in harmony with the existing ecosystem. This is a much slower and more difficult route; the plants took 7 years to be harvestable instead of 3 years elsewhere on the farm, and each year the cherries mature much slower than the rest of the farm and require picking later in the year. However, this slower maturation improves the sweetness and acidity of the coffee, and because the soil is a forest floor instead of highly cultivated land, there is an abundance of nutrients for the plants to thrive.
Ernesto grows Pacamara and SL28 in this area, and then processes them in three different ways. This coffee is honey-processed, which means drying the beans with some of the sticky fruit layer left on. This has given the coffee a higher sweetness and a bigger body, whilst keeping a lot of the acidity that we find in the washed version.
It was coffee from the Wild Forest Project that our friend Dale Harris used to win the World Barista Championship in Seoul last year, and we’re honoured to be able to showcase some of the coffees Ernesto has been growing in this unique manner.
- Country: El Salvador
- Farm: Las Brumas
- Farmer: Ernesto Menendez
- Region: Sonsonate, San Blas
- Altitude: 1,700 to 2,000 m.a.s.l.
- Variety: Pacamara
- Process: Honey
- Number of years partnership: 2