Pear, cashew, milk chocolate
Nested high up on the slopes of the Santa Ana Volcano in El Salvador lies the first farm we ever visited, the beautiful Finca Santa Elena. The farm is owned by Fernando Lima a 3rd generation El Salvadorian coffee producer (and a lovely man). The first time on a coffee farm is one of those 'OH WOW' moments especially when the coffees taste this good.
On arriving at Santa Elena our first experience was of a freshly picked pile of cherries being sorted ready for collection and transportation to Fernando's own micro-mill Los Balcanes. Harvest time - perfect timing.
Santa Elena is located in Palo de Campana, Santa Ana on the Santa Ana volcano. It was established as a coffee plantation around 1930 and has for long been known for its very fertile lands and organic production practices, and frequently receives volcanic ash making the soil even more rich and fertile. Abundant flora and fauna are also found in Santa Elena, with a large portion of the farm is preserved as a natural forest, right beside the “Parque Nacional Los Volcanes” reserve.
Fernando took us on a tour around Santa Elena amongst the coffee trees growing varieties including Bourbon, Pacamara, Kenya, Yellow and Red Caturra. That first experience of picking a ripe cherry, squeezing the seeds out and sucking on the mucilage and sticky cherry skin is something I'll never forget.
It's been a long time coming to get access to Fernando's coffee in the UK but one of our fellow travellers at that time has now become a green coffee importer and BINGO, we're now able to share some of these special coffees with you.
This particular lot is from a tablon called El Mirador which overlooks the beautiful Lake Coatepeque. This is a 'classic' washed El Sal Bourbon, de-pulped and patio dried on Fernando's micro-mill Los Balcanes. Sweet, well balanced and easy drinking. No funk here.