We visited Mauricio and his farm back in 2017 and after years of building our relationship, we finally got his coffee in our range.
Mauricio is one of our kind – not very serious about himself but super serious about every single detail of what they are doing on their farm. This dedication and hard work reflect in the final cup. When we cupped this lot for the first time, there was no doubt it was our Golden range drop-the-mic coffee.
It stands out, it is complex and rich in flavors, super sweet, and with a good body.
This sweet coffee lot comes from a country three times smaller than Latvia – El Salvador.
Of course, if we compare the climate – in El Salvador, it is just perfect for coffee growing!
As we go through four seasons in one year, they have only two – Verano and Invierno. In the rainy season (Invierno), which lasts from May to October, coffee trees are blooming and starting to form and grow berries. Then comes the dry season (Verano) which lasts from November to April and that's the time when coffee cherries get ripe and picked from trees.
Not only the climate but the biosphere itself is generous for high-quality coffee growing in farms.
One of them is El Divisadero farm. It is exposed to Ataco terroir located in the famous volcanic mountain range Apaneca-Ilamatepec which includes a biosphere reserve in its name. The reserve has a lot of spectacular forests and aquatic ecosystems fulfilled with nature's diversity, nutrient-rich soil, and springs. In this reserve, small indigenous populations are living that maintain their traditions and native language.
This region was the first to produce coffee in El Salvador. It now lists many large properties belonging to families of producers for several generations. A thing to mention is that El Salvador is one of the main countries which grows coffee in shades. It means that coffee trees are protected from direct sun, strong wind, and humidity changes in soil by larger trees. So crops grown in shade have a slower maturation period of the cherries resulting in increased levels of natural sugars that enhance the flavor of the beans. The tricky part of shade-grows is that crops can easily get fungal infections, but with correct and smart farming it's controlled.
When everything is combined, the Apaneca region offers the cup such complexity and aromatic diversity that it is impossible to draw up a typical profile.
Farmer and farm
El Divisadero is one of five farms runed by Mauricio Salaveria. This group of farms is situated in a very beautiful region of El Salvador, known as The Flower Route which is a very popular tourist destination for its culture and nature's beauty.
El Divisadero itself is a 6-hectare plot of land at one of El Salvador’s oldest farms, the Himalaya Finca. This plot, situated at an altitude of 1,600 meters, is planted mainly with Bourbon, Caturra, Pacas, and Pacamara varieties. As mentioned before it is a project led by Mauricio Salaveria which consists of bringing the coffees from his different farms together in one place to experiment with numerous processes and specific varieties. It has been said that he is one of El Salvador's micro-lot experts. He puts his great expertise into providing a wide range of coffees, skilfully juggling with the different varieties and processes. Mauricio is very careful in making optimum use of shade by employing an agroforestry model. Shade trees are very well suited to coffee production as they protect the soil and reduce water stress endured by coffee bushes in the dry season, hence promoting soil drainage. They are also excellent wind barriers, which are essential in this region for coffee trees to be able to grow.
Mauricio is innovative, meticulous, and it is very important for him that everything is done as fair and correct as it can be for nature and also his workers.
Coffee blend - Mambo #5
Mambo #5 is Mauricio's blend from Red Bourbon and Cuscatleco varieties. Red bourbon itself is known for excellent quality in the cup and is part of many hybrids including Caturra, Catuai, and Mundo Novo.
The other bean in Mambo #5 is the Cuscatleco variety. It is cultivated in El Salvador and is part of a larger group called the Sarchimor variety group. The main reason for this group was the leaf rust epidemic which started in Central America in the middle of the last century.
Both cherries are processed naturally resulting in a creamy body and sweet, well-balanced aftertaste. As Mauricio says, this coffee is harvested "Maduro Morado", that is to say, ultra-ripe, when the cherries are almost purple from the trees, before 2 stages of drying on raised beds. Then the cherries are distributed in thick layers on African beds for 72 hours and then spread more finely to dry for 21 to 23 days.
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