El Salvador may be the smallest country in Central America, but El Salvador coffee beans leave a big footprint. Hailing from the land of volcanoes, El Salvador coffee beans are grown in rich volcanic soil at high elevations. Today, coffee from El Salvador deserves its reputation as some of the world’s finest. Grown in six distinct regions throughout the nation, the most popular variety of El Salvador coffee beans is Bourbon, followed by Pacas and Pacamara.

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El Salvador Coffee Beans

El Salvador is a country in renaissance when it comes to coffee. Producing coffee since the 1700s, coffee was El Salvador’s largest export by the 1930s. By the late 1970s, civil war wreaked havoc on many of the farms. The civil war has been over for nearly three decades, and subsequent decades of violence have begun to wane. Coffee leaf rust is an ever-present challenge, but renovation strategies have curbed the crisis. Coffee processing knowledge is drawn from generations of experience, and there are simply no limits to the ways this generation of El Salvadoran producers has embraced the specialty coffee market with the duality of tradition and innovation.

Royal Coffee offers El Salvador coffee from the following incredible farms throughout the nation. 

El Gobiado Rainbow Bourbon

Grown near Concepcion de Ataoc in the Illamatepec mountains, this Orange Bourbon coffee has been grown by the Alfaro family for decades. It is naturally dried on raised beds in the shade for more than 20 days. The Bourbon variety is harvested from December -March.

Cerro Las Ranas Honey 

Translating to the Hill of Frogs, Cerro Las Ranas is named for the frogs that make their home in the lagoon located on the farm in Apaneca, Ahuachapán. Sown in volcanic loam soil, the red cherries are pulped when ripe, then dried on clay patios. Cerro Las Ranas produces Bourbon, Pacamara, Sarchimor, Pacas, Catuai, and Caturra coffee beans. Grower Jose Antonio Salaverria and his sons (JASAL) harvest the beans from November-March. 

La Cubana and San Gabriel

Owned and operated by the Dada Peña family, these farms are located near Apaneca, which provides a mountainous micro-climate ideal for growing. Varieties produced at La Cuban and San Gabriel include Bourbon and Pacas. Volcanic loam soil at high elevations produces cherries that are fully washed and dried in the sun. La Cubana and San Gabriel coffee beans are harvested November-March. 

El Salvador Washed

Grown by producers in the Ilamatepec mountain range in Ahuachapan, washed beans are grown in clay loam, and fully de-pulped, fermented, washed, and dried in the sun on patios.  El Salvador washed beans are harvested from November – February. 

Santa Leticia Natural Bourbon

Finca Santa Leticia produces Bourbon beans in the Apaneca, Ahuachapán region of  El Salvador.  The Bourbon beans sown in volcanic loam are harvested from November-March, at the farm that has been in the same family since 1870.  Bourbon beans from Finca Santa Leticia are dried in the fruit in the sun.

Las Isabellas

Las Isabellas is grown at a farm near Apaneca, Ahuachapan, El Salvador. Harvested from November-March, the volcanic loam soil, coupled with the mountain’s climate allows for full sun drying on patios. 

Each variety of coffee beans produced in El Salvador has a slightly different flavor profile. Bourbons tend to have a sweet, chocolatey flair that is well-balanced. Pacas beans produce medium-bodied, medium acidity, and mildly fragrant coffee. Pacamara coffee beans are noted for their floral aroma, full body, and noticeable chocolate flavor. Sarchimor varieties of El Salvador coffee are known for being resistant to coffee leaf rust and produce a floral and caramel flavor profile. Catuai beans are known for a fruity, herbal profile, with a slightly bitter finish. Caturra beans present a fruity, caramel flavor.


El Salvador’s many volcanoes and elevations offer nutrient-rich soil, ideal for growing coffee beans. El Salvador’s many varieties of coffee beans are aromatic, balanced, and often buttery.  

El Salvador grows exclusively Arabica coffee. Bourbon varieties are the most popular, but El Salvador also cultivates pacas, pacamara, sarchimor, catuai, and caturra.

El Salvador has been producing coffee since the 1700s. By 1930, coffee was El Salvador’s largest export. By the late 1970s, civil war wreaked havoc on many of the farms (fincas). Fortunately, after the end of the war, El Salvador began rebuilding its legacy, and today the coffee industry in El Salvador is thriving and employing more than 100,000 people.