La Esperanza - El Cascajal

El Salvador
Chalchuapa, Santa Ana
Cantaloupe, Bing Cherry, Cacao Nibs
12oz Whole Beans
$22.00
Current stock: 0
Description

Description

Café Pacas, Producer
Pacamara. Grown at 1400 masl.

La Esperanza has been a part of our coffee program for the past six years. We've been with the farm through thick and thin, buying red bourbon from the El Carmen lot season after season. About 70% of the farm was destroyed by leaf rust in 2013, and farm manager Lupe Alarcon and the Café Pacas team have risen to the challenge of restoring and revitalizing La Esperanza from top to bottom.

Together, they've carefully selected which lots to maintain with their native red bourbon, and which to use as grounds for experimentation with new varieties. We've been fortunate enough to take in a some of this Pacamara from El Cascajal tablon.

The coffee trees on this 88.11 hectare farm are shaded by nitrogen-stabilizing Ingas, mountain cedars, and eucalyptus trees. Wild forest covers the top 9.7 hectares of the farm, supporting a biodiverse ecosystem.

Café Pacas is committed to community, quality, and sustainability. They do all of their own milling and prep for export, and this year they held their first ever in-house quality competition. They consistently perform well in national Cup of Excellence competitions, and relentlessly fight against growing problems associated with climate change.

Travel Notes:
The Pacas family has a long history in coffee (they found and named the Pacas variety in 1949) and they take risks with new projects and experiments while maintaining a focus on quality which is evident in the cup but also on the farms.

You will notice holes and trenches in the ground throughout El Retiro (founded 1927 at 1400 masl.) - these capture rain water accumulation to make sure that organic matter and nutrients in the volcanic soil are not washed away. During the dry season, these also help with humidity levels to keep the trees healthy.The Pacas also practice suachado where the soil is tilled so that the leaves and organic matter can better be incorporated into the soil. After the harvest, lime is applied to the soil. Soil management is very important in keeping a healthy coffee farm and El Retiro is one of the most healthy and beautiful farms I have seen.

Inga shade trees and other endangered trees are planted to promote different micro-climates throughout the farm. The inga tree not only provides shade, but once its leaves fall, they are a good source of nitrogen for the soil. The izote plants (the edible national flower of El Salvador) are used for their strong roots as they help stop erosion. There are also a few weeds left around that are used to help with pest control. On the farm, you might also see deer, snakes, lizards, small wild cats, birds, armadillos and the common farm dog.

The Pacas family also practices agobio like the Dumonts do at Finca Malacara, and the large trunks of the huge and healthy 70-80 year old Bourbon trees are evidence that this process works. Only the first pass is in progress here and the cherries are looking red, ripe and ready to be picked. There are also some Pacas and Pacamara plants that were planted in 2014 and 2015 that won't be ready to harvest for another year or two.

A short drive away is La Esperanza (1100-1700 masl.) which the Pacas family purchased in 2011. The farm wasn't in great shape to begin with and because of leaf rust, 70% of the production was lost during the first good crop year. This farm is a work in progress but has so much potential. Eucalyptus trees line the road where you can drive up through the tablons and see some beautiful views and hear bees buzzing. El Carmen tablon has trees which are about 70-80 years old. The new plantings in other tablons have been done in cantor lines according to the slope of the mountain. This is a challenging way to plant, but helps maintain the soil integrity.

Just up the road at La Providencia, we visited the varietal garden planted in 2014 at 1300 masl. planted to replicate their other garden at another location down at 900 masl. so they can see how the altitude affects the trees. There are so many interesting varieties growing there including one called Leroy. Alfredo had recently even sent a few samples out for DNA testing!

We ended the day with a visit to the Cafe Pacas office and mill where we cupped two tables of coffee. The selections included an unusually delicious new Bernadina variety. 

-Caroline (January 2016)

  12oz of whole beans. Our premium coffee beans are roasted daily at our Greenpoint, Brooklyn roastery. We ship only whole bean coffee and do not grind the beans prior to shipping.  Coffee is packaged in sealed valve bags.  We roast to order!
Additional Info

Additional Info

Origin:
Chalchuapa, Santa Ana
Notes:
Cantaloupe, Bing Cherry, Cacao Nibs
Size:
12oz Whole Beans