El Salvador El Milagro de Santa Rita HG - Espresso
El Salvador El Milagro de Santa Rita HG
Elevation: 1,500-2,400 MASL
Process: Washed and Sundried
Tasting Notes: Coconut, Chocolate with Pineapple acidity, crisp, clean and a smooth body
Himalaya farm starts at 1500MASL and grows up to 2400MASL, which is the peak of the mountain. The coffee trees are all Bourbon and are naturally shade grown. Sonia only uses organic farming practices as she believes that this keeps the flavour of the coffee pure and honours her families tradition of farming coffee. Himalaya has been in Sonia’s family for over 150 years and was a COE winner in 2003.
From the farm you can see Ataco and Ahuachapan (where sonia was raised), two small towns in Apaneca. The farm itself is on a constant gradient which we were able to walk up, from 1500 to 2400MASL. There is one road which goes to 2000MASL, so all coffee picked from 2000MASL+ must be carried back down the mountain by the pickers to the truck. All the coffee is hand picked and there are 180 FT pickers in the harvest season, during off season, farm manager Eddie has 20 workers who prune and maintain the farm.
The picked cherries are driven 30 minutes away to Beneficio Los Cerritos, Sonia’s family processing milll. The cherries are washed and pulped, then fermented in fresh water for 20 hours. The coffee is then washed again and laid out on the drying patios, where it is sun dried. Once dry, the coffee is taken to the dry mill, which is also on Beneficio Los Cerritos, and there it is de-husked and hand sorted, before being weighed out into bags for export.
In the last 5 years, La Roya or Coffee Leaf Rust, has impacted her yields significantly, however with natural regrowth happening constantly on the farm, newer bourbon plants are always growing and flourishing, replacing the plants which have suffered. Roya is a big issue for Sonia as she refuses to plant anything but Bourbon because she believes Bourbon is the best quality for El Salvador conditions, that they produce the best tasting coffee and also out of respect for her family traditions.