It would seem logical that the smallest Central American coffee-growing country would produce microlots, but historically, much of the coffee was blended and sold to mills, without much lot differentiation and separation. The rise of specialty coffee in El Salvador has inspired many producers to start to identify and isolate individual varieties, and to experiment with sorting and processing, as a way of attracting buyers and getting higher prices, but access to those resources can still be difficult for smaller growers.
For the past few years, Café Imports green buyer Piero Cristiani—who is from El Salvador, and whose mother has a long history in coffee there—has embarked on a project designed to identify, reward, and bring to market the exceptional results of the hard, innovative work that producers are increasingly interested in doing here.
Focusing on the region of Chalatenango, Piero has partnered with a cupper and a local mill to buy small, select microlots from producers—some separated by variety, some by process, and some by both. We are buying the coffee in parchment and doing the ruling and final sorting and bagging ourselves, which allows for more quality control as well as the ability to package some of these very special small lots in custom 35-kilo Pequeños bags, to create more widespread access to these coffees to roasters.
Finca El Derrumbo is owned by Vincente Rafael Diaz, who is committed to selectively harvesting his cherries to ensure they are at uniform ripeness for best quality. After picking the coffee, he depulps it the same day, ferments it dry for 10–12 hours, and then washeds it before moving it to patios to dry for 9–13 days.
We are proud to offer these micro-microlots, and can’t wait for you and your customers to experience the delicious stuff that comes in these small packages.
For more information about coffee production in El Salvador, visit our El Salvador Origin Page.