El Salvador El Diamante Pacamara
El Salvador was the first coffee producing country Speckled Ax ever visited (coming up on 8 years ago). We spent a few days in Santa Ana, but it was in the small and more remote department of Chalatenango, in the tiny country’s northwest, that we found the farms that were most intriguing to us. The varietals were exclusively heirloom. Pacas–a bourbon mutation discovered in El Salvador around 1950–was the most prevalent, but many farms were also growing pacamara, a pacas/maragogype cross that was developed by the Salvadoran Institute for Coffee Research about the same time, and released for producer usage decades later. It’s a large bean variety (maragogype is sometimes referred to as the “elephant bean” due to its size) that sometimes exhibits vegetal or citric cup characteristics that can lend a coffee unique elegance. It’s also genetically unstable, with a percentage of the plants reverting back to pacas.
This coffee comes from Rodolfo Peneda and El Diamante, a small finca that sits at about 1900 meters in altitude. It’s a high farm, but especially so in Chalatenango. It placed fourth in Cafe Imports’ Best Cup auction this past April, but we thought it was the best coffee in the competition, and so paid the auction’s highest price to get it to our roastery. It’s a washed coffee, but the flavor profile is quite fruity. Generally speaking, we tend to stay away from Centrals that are so fruit-driven, being a little suspicious of the fermentation practices that would lead to such characterisics, but Mr. Peneda’s lots are clean and consistent. (We also purchased a couple of washed pacas lots with similar profiles.) Along with mild sugar browning flavor and sweet red fruits, this 80 pound nanolot has a pithy, cedar-like quality that makes is a special winter warmer. (NOTE: any order that includes this coffee will not ship until December 18th.)
next roast: December 18, sold only in 12 oz bags
Producer: Rodolfo Huezo Pineda
Location: Santa Rosa, Chalatenango
Elevation: 1900 MASL
Process: washed process, dried on raised beds