El Salvador is a country in renaissance when it comes to coffee. The civil war has been over for nearly three decades and subsequent decades of violence has begun to wane. Leaf rust is ever present but renovation strategies have curbed the crisis. Almost everybody here possesses the coffee know-how drawn from three or four generations. There are simply no limits to the ways this generation of El Salvadoran producers have embraced the specialty coffee market with the duality of tradition and innovation. The best of the best often come to the top because of the prestige of the mill where the coffee is prepared for export. This is certainly the case for Beneficio El Carmen where coffee is expertly processed in any number of ways and gently dried on clay patios or raised beds. Fernando Alfaro, the fourth generation to run the family’s mill, works tirelessly with coffee coming from many estates. A combination of experience and a state-of-the-art cupping lab are used to make decisions about how to bring out the best in each coffee. At the 70-acre estate called Finca Florencia, located on the volcano called San Salvador, the most important task has been using shade trees to protect the traditional varieties like this Bourbon. During the harvest a great deal of care and focus is dedicated to picking and delivering the best quality of cherry to Beneficio El Carmen where the coffee is expertly depulped, fermented, washed, and gently dried on raised beds.