La Guachoca

El Salvador
San Marcelino, Cerro Verde, Santa Ana
Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel, White Peach, Tamarind
$20.50
Current stock: 0
Description

Description

Familia Pacas, Producer
Orange Bourbon. Grown at 1350 masl.


We've been friendly with La Guachoca's farm manager Juan Constante for a number of years, having cupped coffees from various tablóns and visiting the farm off and on since 2013. Our partnership with Café Pacas has largely focused on the evolution of La Esperanza, but every so often we stretch out and give another one of their farms the spotlight (i.e. El Retiro, Los Bellotos). Last year we had a lovely peaberry lot from La Guachoca that was offered as a limited single origin espresso. This year we are very excited to offer our first orange bourbon lot from La Guachoca.

The Pacas family purchased La Guachoca in 2009, and named the farm after the quail-like Guachoca bird that is frequently seen there. At the time of purchase, a small quantity of orange bourbon trees were found near the sides of the road. Cherries were taken separately to the mill for cupping and analysis, and it was decided that more orange bourbon would be planted. When the farm was hit by leaf rust and further renovations were necessary, the variety was introduced on a larger scale. New trees were planted at 1350 masl and they have adapted very well to the farm's microclimate.

La Guachoca spans 31.5 hectares, and is largely composed of fertile, volcanic soil that promotes the healthy growth of red bourbon and pacas trees and a variety of shade trees including Ingas, Jocote de Corona, Avocados, Cirin, Lengua de Vaca, and Pimienta de montaña. Shade trees are pruned so that coffee plants get 70% sunlight during the fruit’s growth period and 30% during the maturation process. This allows sugars to develop and enhance the overall cup complexity.

Café Pacas is committed to community, quality, and sustainability. They do all of their own milling and prep for export, and relentlessly fight against growing problems associated with climate change. Eye exams, on-site technical training, and pre-harvest consultation are provided for the pickers and farm managers. Psychological and social counseling is also available to families so that they may develop conflict resolution skills and improve the community at large.

 

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 compostable valve bags made from 100% renewable resources.  We roast to order!
Additional Info

Additional Info

Origin:
San Marcelino, Cerro Verde, Santa Ana
Notes:
Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel, White Peach, Tamarind
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