El Salvador Menendez
We are so excited to present this familiar but still exciting coffee! It has a creamy body with caramel sweetness, and flavours of mandarin and red currants.
Miguel Menendez Sr. manages the family’s coffee farms in three generations of ancestral footsteps, and with the long experience, the family farms and process station are state of the art. The farm Santa Barbara, adjacent to their other farm Las Delicias, is located in the Ahuachapán region in western El Salvador. The farm is 28 hectares, extending from 1300 to 1900 meters above sea level. Coffee is planted on 23 hectares up to 1650 meters, since above that the temperatures will be too low to grow coffee. At the top of the farm is a lush native forest providing habitat for numerous animal species.
Together with their sons Miguel Jr. and Guillermo the family handles the whole chain, from picked cherries to exported beans. They wash, ferment, dry, sort, pack and export the coffee with full control and transparency. It’s easy to call out the joy and pride of having this coffee from the Menendez family in our assortment. It is about 16 years since we started buying coffee from them and this really is the role model of how coffee should be traded. As we have grown, our volumes from Menendez have done the same. At a time when more and more producers abandoned their farms, they have not only managed but also been able to invest and build for the future.
Besides the volumes we always buy from the Menendez, we also came across this really small lot of Orange Bourbon that they are cultivating on a very small part of the farm. To simplify, the Orange Bourbon is a natural variation of the Red Bourbon, that simply turns orange when it’s ripe. It is relatively rare because it has so-called recessive predisposition. This means that it quickly turns into Red Bourbon if it comes in contact with Red Bourbon. But if it retains its properties, it often produces very good coffee, with more fruity and floral elements.
Since 2010, the farm is certified as “Denomination of Origin”, which sets up standards for environmental protection, sustainable coffee production as well as social aspects for workers etc. The Menendez family is using this as a foundation to manage the farm in an environmentally friendly way with modern techniques to produce high quality coffee that’s sustainable in the future. The recent years with outbreaks of Coffee Leaf Rust, a pandemic and crisis in the coffee market have been trying for all coffee producers. Despite this, the constant hard work on the farm has meant that the family has been able to continue producing fantastic coffee year after year!
Origin: El Salvador
Producer: Menedez family
Farm: Santa Barbara
Altitude: 1650 m.a.s.l.
Variety: Orange Bourbon
Coffee process: Washed
Flavours: Mandarin, red currants, macadamia