El Salvador - Casa De Zinc - 100% Bourbon
We're excited about this new arrival of a El Salvadoran coffee. It roasts very evenly and is a bourbon varietal, one of my favourites. From the very cooly named Casa de Zinc farm, it's the perfect provenance for our Single Origin Casa Espresso Blend and stands up tall as a great single origin on its own. With dark chocolate, lime and red-cherry notes it makes a delightful pour-over. It has delightful honey sweetness from the honey processing procedure which you can read about in the Nerd Zone tab. Altogether, a coffee that deserves your attention - so stand up and salute it.. a stunner!
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El Salvador – Casa de Zinc
Farm Name: Casa De Zinc
Farmer: Bodo Kurt Alfred Handtke
Region: Apaneca Llamatepequec
Farm size: 79 Ha. Growing Altittude: 1400 masl
Altitude: 1400 masl
Screen Size: 16+
Certification: Cafe Practices
Harvest: December - March
Soil Type: Volcanic
SCA Score: 85.5
Cup Profile: Dark chocolate, lime, red cherry, sweet honeyed finish.
Apaneca Llamatepequec is a mountain range in western El Salvador near the border of Guatemala. While montainous, altitude rarely exceeds 1400 meters, but nevertheless, the region exhibits a number of attributes that lead to high quality coffee production. Notable landmarks include the beautiful town of Concepción de Ataco and ‘El Imposible’ national park. El Salvador is an origin that has a natural tendency to produce sweet, versatile and sought after coffees from small, and generally progressive producers and was an early darling of the current specialty coffee movement. However, in 2013 the county was perhaps one of the hardest hit in Central America by the roya (leaf rust) outbreak and many farms produced negligible to nil coffee volume. However, diligent and progressive producers have generally rebounded well and are coming back with improved volume and quality.
The Honey Process
A means of coffee bean processing which may some confusion amongst roasters and consumers due to the many different forms that it can take dependent on the country of origin, it is therefore a sort of ‘hybrid’ process that is very much open to interpretation depending on the aim of the farmer.
In Brazil for example, research was carried out to try and find a processing method that would use less water than the washed process, but that would be less susceptible to defects than the natural process. The ‘Pulped Natural’ process therefore came about whereby cherries are depulped to remove the skin and much of the mucilage from the cherry, but rather than being washed to totally rid the bean of any mucilage, they are immediately dried on patios. This results in a coffee that has much of the sweetness and body expected from a natural processed bean, but there is also a rounded acidity in there too which contributes towards better clarity in the cup.
Central American countries such as El Salvador and Costa Rica have more of a focus on experimentation and therefore revert to the true ‘Honey’ process whereby ripe cherries are depulped in a controlled manner to determine exactly how much mucilage is left on the bean. It is in this way that different flavour profiles can be created due to the varying influence of fermentation. In this instance, the drying process is extremely important as there is more of a risk of mould growth and defects so it is essential that the sticky beans are turned regularly and are protected from insect damage. You may come across terms such as ‘yellow honey process’ or ‘perla negra’ which refers to either the amount of time the bean spent in the cherry before it was depulped, or to the amount of mucilage that was left on the bean before it was dried.