Santa Ana, El Salvador is a veritable mecca for coffee processing. The fact that El Salvador has been dubbed the “Land of Volcanoes” only adds to its appeal, as coffee is known to thrive in nutrient-dense, volcanic soil. Its high elevation also gives El Salvadorian coffee its distinct charm—notes of chocolate-covered citrus, nuts, and vanilla lay on the coffee’s sweet, low-acid taste. However, while these conditions are good for coffee, there is always the looming threat of an eruption or earthquake.
Plagued by Disaster
Finca Hungria, the farm from which we source our El Sal, has been fortunate enough to dodge disaster twice since its establishment in the 1930s. The October 2005 eruption of Ilamatepec (also called Santa Ana Volcano) and the coffee leaf rust epidemic of 2012 came and went, with little damage done to the farm. Sadly, the same cannot be said for all Salvadorian coffee farmers, whose lives depend on successful harvests. First detected in the 1970s, coffee leaf rust continues to be an issue for farmers.
Canopied by cedar, oak, and balsam trees, Finca Hungria’s coffee plants luxuriate in the shade, creating a natural rainforest habitat for local birds. In return for a place to live, the birds feed on potentially hazardous insects, leading to better overall health for the coffee lot. Finca Hungria has also been designated a Denomination of Origin status, a symbol of high-quality specialty coffee.
Organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified
Organic certification gives access to markets otherwise unavailable, better pricing, and eligibility for grants and financial assistance, among other things, while the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal ensures that coffee is regularly audited to meet strict standards of social, environmental, and economic sustainability. These standards seek to promote and continuously improve biodiversity, natural resource conservation, effective planning and farm management systems, and improved livelihoods and human well-being.
Washing and Drying
Our El Salvador Finca Hungria is fully washed and mechanically dried. Fully washed is typical of high-quality coffee. Washed coffee is all about the seed, not the cherry. Most specialty coffees are washed because this process gives the most true-to-origin experience, as the mucilage can impart syrupy flavors if left intact during processing. Mechanical dryers function a lot like coffee roaster cooling trays, in that they utilize a rotating arm that turns the coffee continuously.
Fresh Roasted Coffee
We light roast this Strictly Hard Bean (SHB)—aka Strictly High-Grown—coffee to underscore its origin notes of clementine with brown sugar and praline to balance out the roast and bring in a little depth. Exceptionally mild and dynamic, these coffee beans produce a mellow cup with bright notes and a clean finish.