El Salvador Las Laderas (Organic) Filter

Hazelnut, cranberry, orange marmalade, currant, molasses sweetness.


per 250g

  • Info

    Introducing Las Laderas, our third offering from producer Fernando Lima’s 2020 harvest in Santa Ana, El Salvador. At altitudes up to 1950m, producer Fernando Lima cultivates Bourbon, Kenya (SL28), Orange Bourbon and Gesha varieties, grown mostly under the shade of ingas, cypress, corozo trees.

    This organic coffee is a Pacamara variety, harvested in January 2020 and processed using a Black Honey method at Fernando’s family owned mill, Los Balcanes.

    Speaking to Fernando over the course of this growing season, he revealed that he was already preparing for the universal challenge of Global warming. They had in fact spent the day planting new lots of Orange Bourbon, Pacamara and Gesha in some of the highest parts of Santa Elena, at an altitude of 1950m. Just a few years ago, these locations were climatically too cold for coffee plants, now Fernando looks to them as the bastion of the farm’s future viability.

    Fernando Lima proudly describes his coffee farms as a “Time capsule”; an idyllic snapshot of agriculture from the early twentieth century where farming practices were derived from the distilled knowledge and experience of generations.

    However, it was not a romanticised view of traditional farming methods that first led the Lima family to seek organic certification. In 2006 the Volcano Santa Ana (Ilamtepeque) erupted, destroying much of the farm’s infrastructure and damaging the coffee plantations. Mineral dense volcanic ash covered much of the plantation as it does approximately every 100 years. In conjunction with the chemical agricultural products that had been used on the farm prior to the eruption, the ash served to acidify the soil to such an extent that synthetic fertilizers were no longer viable and in fact would prove detrimental to plant health.

    Faced with a decision that had already been partially made by circumstance, the Lima family moved to take advantage of the natural wealth provided by the volcanic geology of their farms and restructure their entire operation, including the Balcanes coffee processing mill to be certified organic and adopt natural and sustainable methods of production.

    Fernando admits producing coffee in this manner is labor intensive as the many processes; weeding manually, applying organic compost, pruning the native shade canopy trees, and selectively picking ripe cherries by hand all take time and an experienced workforce. However, the Lima family’s continued success in the years following their organic conversion has come to reflect a measurable benefit to brewed coffee cup quality: Since the 2006 eruption, the family has had 16 of their coffees awarded the Cup of Excellence distinction, confirming that they are consistently amongst the best farms in El Salvador.

  • Technical Details
    • Producer: Fernando Lima
    • Farm: Las Laderas
    • Processing: Black Honey
    • Varieties: Pacamara
    • Harvest: January 2020
    • Altitude: 1850 - 1900 masl
    • Region: Palo de Campana, Santa Ana

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