El Salvador Salaverria Biosphere Reserve Pacamara Natural Anaerobic
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Dark Chocolate, Skippy's Peanut Butter, Fruit Punch
The Salaverria family has been planting coffee in El Salvador for two generations. A little known coffee corporation in Singapore, Corporation Salaverria is now helmed by 2nd generation farmer Roberto Salaverria. As he grew up in the farms, he was taught the art and science of coffee cultivation by his father. His childhood fun playing with coffee left a big impression on him, and he recalled fondly his experience of driving the farm truck at the tender age of 12. When civil unrest erupted in El Salvador in the 1970s, he was sent away to the US until his return after the passing of his father. The farms were left untended, but he resolutely picked up the pieces and reorganised the farms. In fact, he took the coffee business to another level. He decided to open a cafe in the big pink house where he grew up. Called Café La Casona, he also established the headquarters for Corporación Salaverria and Salaverria & Pillersdorf (S & P) Coffee Roasting Facility and Quality Control Laboratory. He has opened a few more Café La Casona throughout El Salvador.
Salaverria farms are mostly in Apaneca Ilamatepec and Bálsamo Quezaltepec mountain ranges of El Salvador. Coffee grown on these mountain ranges is regulated by Denominación de Origen Café Apaneca Ilamatepec and Bálsamo Quezaltepec. As much as to protect the quality of coffees linked to these two origins, this is also a stamp of approval by the Salvadoran Coffee Council that the coffee produced by the farm are reflective of the quality of the area. Apaneca Ilamatepec is the largest producing region of El Salvador and probably where coffee was first cultivated in the country. Cultivated in La Palma, a district in Chalatenango, northern El Salvador, our coffee is part of Apaneca Ilamatepec. It is part of the Trifinio Fraternidad Transboundary Biosphere Reserve which is a large tri-border national park shared by El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 2011, the area's cloud forests are being protected, preserving the incredibly rich bio-diversity of fauna and ﬂora.
The varieties in this region is the bourbon, pacas or bourbon-derived varieties. Pacas is a variety named after the Pacas family in El Salvador, having made the discovery at Santa Ana region in 1956. A dwarf-sized mutated version of the bourbon variety, similar to the bourbon mutation to Caturra in Brazil and Villa Sarchi in Costa Rica, its small size is its chief advantage, allowing more compact cultivation and higher productivity per unit land. Today, about 25% of coffee cultivation in El Salvador is pacas, and it was also introduced to Honduras by IHCAFE (Instituto Hondureño del Café, Honduran Coffee Institute) in 1974. A earlier spontaneous mutation of the Typica variety was discovered in Maragogype in Bahia State of Brazil in 1870. Given the eponymous name, this coffee is most remembered by its elephant-sized beans. The Salvadoran Institute of Coffee Research (ISIC) in 1958 crossed the pacas with the maragogype, resulting in a similarly big sized bean they called pacamara, taking the first 4 letters from each parent variety. It took approximately 30 years of careful scientific research to create the pacamara. It was released to coffee producers in the late 1980s. Primarily grown in El Salvador, it often dominates coffee competitions like the Cup of Excellence.
Natural process requires lower heat levels. To preserve the elegant notes bestowed by the anaerobic process, again we need lower heat levels. Add to these the lower density of the coffee from the bigger size of the pacamara beans. We are roasting this coffee very carefully, to prevent any accidental oiling from over-roasting, yet to present the creamy and citrusy notes of the paramara. The anaerobic process imparts a citrus note, while the pacamara variety gives a creamy, sugar browning character. A less common bean, this natural anaerobic pacamara is a blend of enzymatic and sugar browning characteristics, satisfying fans from both camps.
The dry fragrance is very inviting with notes of dark chocolates. On the Timemore B75 using Kalita 155 paper at grind size 700 µm, the brewing releases toffee and dark chocolate notes. When hot, the first impression is that of citrus fruits, like fruit punch and pineapple, supported by a smooth and medium texture that is sugary like juice or milk chocolate drink. The flavour is creamy and nutty, like Skippy's peanut butter, which becomes more obvious as it turns cooler. This is our recipe, brewed at 90°C using our own water recipe:
15g for 220ml
0-15 sec: Pour 50g water
45-115 sec: Add 170g