Introduction by Chris Kornman
This coffee is grown on Finca Lemus Bella Vista, located in the municipality of Concepción de Ataco within the department of Ahuachapán, El Salvador. It’s a 37 acre farm owned by Thelma de Gutierrez and managed by her husband, José Enrique Gutiérrez. This husband and wife team has used their experience as third generation coffee producers to improve the productivity and health of the farm, which includes the production and application of microbial compost teas on the farm. In the last two years, the couple has also diversified the farm with the production of beans, which ensure food security for the family and also act as nitrogen fixers that promote the coffee plants health and cherry production.
This mixed variety lot is sun-dried on combination of patio and raised beds, after processing. The hybrid “Honey” process, not at all dissimilar to a pulped natural or semi-washed, involves mechanically removing the coffee cherry skins by a depulper, but some of the flesh of the fruit is allowed to remain on the seed. Then, rather than fermenting in a tank to remove the mucilage, the coffee is taken directly into the sun to dry. The result is an extraordinarily flavorful coffee that retains some of the nicest qualities of both the fully washed and cherry-dried processes.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
This is a nice 16+ coffee with a slightly higher than average moisture content and water activity reading. This can sometimes result in reduced density, as can the somewhat lower than average elevation at which it was grown, but that’s not the case with this coffee. That perfect storm of high density, high moisture, and high water activity required a little finesse during roasting. Read on below.
Roast Analysis by Chris Kornman
With this higher moisture honey process coffee, I assumed that a gentle approach to the roast would be best. But because of the relatively high density, my first roast (PR-0268, purple below) took a really long time to develop during Maillard reactions. The coffee appeared dark enough after a minute of popping, and I dropped the batch. I should’ve known to trust the numbers a little more on this one; the ColorTrack reading was quite light at 55 and tasted grassy and underdeveloped.
I pushed the gas harder on the quicker second roast (PR-0269, green below) and ended up with a higher percentage of post-crack development. I was able to back off the heat during crack and achieve an easy-drinking, well developed coffee with a lot of interesting fruit and herb notes. I noticed that the coffee was quite pale after about 2 minutes, and didn’t really normalize in color development until about 6 or more minutes. Also, the sticky silverskin makes the coffee look a bit darker than it actually is. I highly recommend at least 1:30 development after first crack for this coffee to really develop those caramelized sugars and sweet fruity notes you desire out of a honey process coffee.
This coffee is available in full size bags as well. Contact Us to find out more.