This offering comes from Rio Zarco, a full-scale coffee mill located in El Salvador's Chalatenango region. When coffee arrives at the mill, Rio Zarco takes samples and puts them through a computer program which calculates the percentage of ripe cherry as opposed to green, semi-ripe, dry, and floating cherries. This way there is an objective standard to measure quality, rewarding farmers for better cherry selection. Rio Zarco then controls all processing, from the cherry to exportable green, allowing for the provision of consistent offerings.
“Focus” is the word that defines our coffees from El Salvador this year, and it’s what makes the incoming crop so special and exciting for us. While the country’s overall production is still reeling from a high prevalence of coffee-leaf rust, farmers are combatting lower yields (up to 35% less than last year) with improved processing, more and better variety selection, and a growing commitment to innovation. For the past few years, Piero has been on the ground in El Salvador more and more, developing relationships that have turned into long-term partnerships with producers whose coffee we buy year in and year out, often in parchment, which allows him direct oversight in the dry-milling process. This makes it possible for Piero to build specific lots, perform quality-control checks, and even choose the bag size for individual coffees.