El Salvador Los Nogales – El Roble Espresso Coffee

$ 15.00$ 55.00

Complex, buttery, toffee and berries, mandarin acidity.

Farm: Los Nogales – El Roble Lot
Region: Apaneca, Ilamatepec
Variety: Bourbon
Process: Black Honey
Altitude: 1,600 – 1,700 masl


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Los Nogales is family-owned business with three generations of history. Originally owned by Jose Antonio Sr grandfather, it was passed to Jose, and more recently to Jose’s son has taken on the business. As a child, Jose always dreamed of having a farm in order to learn the detail and costs associated with taking care of a coffee estate not only financially but also emotionally. Los Nogales is located in Apaneca and part of the Apaneca-ilamatepec mountain range being one of the most prestige locations in El Salvador for growing coffee.

It was one of the first farms in the region to introduce specialty coffee into the plantation and since its early development has been very committed to the quality process. Year to year they invest significantly in social and environmental activities/programs, encouraging the communities surrounding the Los Nogales farms to act as strong pillars for the organisation. The communities make up the majority of the farm’s yearly workforce and by maintaining happy employees and providing them with good living conditions, health care benefits and education the benefits are returned by hard work on the farms, dedication and passion. JASAL – another family owned coffee business – owns a farm close to Los Nogales called La Gloria which has a natural water spring that provides clean water to 50% of the town of Apaneca.

This lot comes from a plot on the farm called El Roble, at 1,600 – 1,700 metres above sea level. It is a variety of coffee from red bourbon, and is a black honey process. The Honey process (also known as pulped natural) sits somewhere between the washed and natural process. It involves first depulping the coffee, leaving much of the mucilage intact, before drying on raised beds or patios. Honey processed coffees are a true specialty coffee even before being expertly roasted. The green beans present sweet, fruity undertones, and a balanced acidity with depth depending on which honey process is used. There are three levels of honey processing, black, red and yellow. The major difference is the drying time, techniques and mucilage; the higher the mucilage, the stronger the flavours. Honey processed coffees are generally fruit driven and sweet with a little more body than a typical washed coffee and a little less funk than a natural.

Yellow Honey has the fastest drying, where the coffee receives full-sunlight giving the coffee a light-yellow colour by the time it has reached its proper finished moisture level.
Dry time: 8 days
Technique: exposed to full-sunlight while drying.
Flavour profile: apricot-like, light and floral.
Mucilage: 50%

Red Honey takes longer to dry, usually developed during cloud cover, often taking about 12 days to finish drying.
Dry time: 12 days
Technique: typically processes during cloud cover.
Flavour profile: sweet and syrupy.
Mucilage: 75%

Black honey is the most complex, laborious, and expensive. This is because it takes the longest time to ferment and takes up space on the drying beds for up to twice as long compared to yellow & red honey processing.
Dry time: 15 days
Technique: covered by a black plastic tarp while turned on raised African-style beds.
Flavour profile: full-bodied, sweet with fruity/pulp depth.
Mucilage: 100%

Additional information

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El Salvador is more than a country where coffee happens to be grown – in many ways, it is a country created on coffee, as the crop is heavily woven into El Salvador’s history, culture, economy and ecology.

The country’s climate is well suited for creating delicious coffees, with its six month long wet and dry seasons, various mountain ranges and volcanoes and extensive shade canopy’s. Coffee has had an undeservingly poor reputation for years, marred mostly by the inability to deliver coffee of a higher enough quality in an unstable political climate. Unfortunately, agriculture is the first to suffer during a revolution, since it requires years to rebuild a farm if it is neglected. In El Salvador the coffee trade, like the government in general, was controlled by a ruling elite; a handful of wealthy families that operated many farms. El Salvador had tended towards the right politically, and the smaller coffee farmer and coffee workers fared poorly in this climate.

Coffee is grown in five geographical areas of the country, which differ from one another mainly in terms of altitude and flavour characteristics.