Santa Ana, El Salvador
$19.50 | 12 oz box
The Pacamara coffee variety was created in El Salvador in 1958 by crossing El Salvador’s own Pacas variety and the large-bean Maragojipe variety. When grown organically near the top of the Santa Ana volcano on Finca Santa Elena, the resulting giant is a classic expression of Pacamara. This year, look for notes of nougat and green apple with a creamy mouthfeel.
On October 1, 2005, Don Fernando Lima, owner of Finca Santa Elena, was gearing up for another coffee harvest when the Santa Ana Volcano erupted for the first time in 101 years, spewing ash and rock all over the eastern side of the volcano where his farm is located.
Not only is Santa Elena situated on the side that was the most affected by the eruption, it is one of the highest-elevation coffee farms in the region—making matters worse. Located just a few hundred meters below the crater of the volcano, Finca Santa Elena was devastated. Santa Elena lost more than 97 percent of its harvest that year, and it took five years for the farm to fully recover. Faced with an enormous challenge, Don Fernando realized that the devastation also gave him an opportunity to regroup and make Finca Santa Elena better.
We started buying coffee from Finca Santa Elena in 2009–2010. It was one of the first harvest year that the farm had fully recovered, and we were immediately impressed. Over the years, Santa Elena has continued to improve—implementing better and better quality practices. They built an impressive area for raised-bed drying based on feedback from us and even implemented fermentation and processing techniques for some of the selections we have bought over the years.