Our third season offering coffees from our friend Federico Pacas and his farm Santa Petrona and this one is a black honey processed Bourbon variety. El Salvador was our first ‘origin’ trip back in 2016 and the Pacas families Cafe Tuxpal Beneficio (mill) on the Santa Ana Volcano was a highlight. Santa Petrona is used for ‘special’ processes and we were lucky to score a couple of sacks of this black honey.
Finca Santa Petrona has been in the Pacas family for 90 years and represents much of what their family has been doing in coffee for generations by working with great care and dedication.
We reached out to the Pacas family and asked from some specifics on the processing of this coffee and Lily Pacas came back with some beautiful pictures and this description of this coffee:
"This Bourbon was processed as Black Honey, to highlight its sweetness, fruity notes and chocolate. We picked this coffee from mid December to the first week of March, when it reached around 24 BRIX degrees. To processs the coffeee as BH, we let it ferment for 24 hours, the same day of the picking and then depulped (100% without water). Then, we let the coffee ferments for another 12 hours on the shaded african beds, and it’s moved every 2 hours for 5 more days. We let the coffee rest for more days until it reaches a humidity of 13 degrees. After that we give it sunlight only 2/4 hours in the morning until it reaches a humidity of 10.5 to 12.5% humidity for storage. The total drying period was 15 days."
When we visited it was interesting to see and feel the various stages of honey processing as the mucilage was broken down by the microbes. Fresh on the beds the mucilage was slimey, then as it turns yellow, red and eventually black it thickens and dries until it feels more like sugar puffs. The longer it‘s left the heavier and more fruit driven flavours dominate.