El Salvador is a land of crater lakes and volcanoes (some which are active), with an abundance of dramatic vistas. It may be the smallest country in Central America, but its rich and fertile volcanic soil produces some of the best coffee in the whole of Latin America.
El Cipres Estate
El Cipres Estate is loocated on the North slopes of the Picacho Volcano in the Bálsamo-Quezaltepec coffee region, in the municipality of Nejapa, the estate has been in the family since 1880 after being bought by Dr. Emilio Alvarez Lalinde when the family migrated to El Salvador from Colombia bringing with them an ancestry & knowledge in coffee production. The Estate is now run by the Alvares Gallardo family who took over in 1992 bringing a new passion and dedication to the farm working hard to achieve RFA certification as well as improving all aspects of the estate.
The estate is made up of 90 Hectares of coffee producing land and 5 hectares of natural forest allowing the wildlife to flourish. Starting at 1070 masl the farm is a long thin strip which climbs up to 1800 masl producing 3000 bags annually. The Estate has also re introduced the old practice of ‘agobia’ cutting and growing which has significantly helped to improve yield where the trees are bent over and tied to the ground to keep producing whilst new shoots grow vertically.
There is a strong family and social aspect to the El Cipres Estate. As well as being RFA certified the Family works hard to ensure all workers are treated with respect and dignity. There is a permanent staff who live on the farm whose food is subsidized all year round. In the houses they have also provided new efficient cooking stoves as well using volcanic stones as a filter of waste water to reduce pollutants reaching the soils. The farm also supports the local school which neighbours the farm subsiding the staff at the school. They have also helped with the supply of a computer and as well as provide sporting clothes for the games’ classes.
RED CHERRY SELECTION
This natural process has been specifically produced for Falcon Speciality Coffee this year using the ripe cherry selected from the best sections of the farm. The cherry is delivered from the farm where it is then floated and separated to ensure only ripe cherries are used in producing these lots. Once ready the cherry is moved to the patio usually late in the afternoon so they lose the initial moisture without ‘heat shock’ from the strong afternoon sun. They are then left for 48hrs to settle and not raked to prevent the skin of the cherry being damaged whilst soft. The coffee is turned every 45 minutes – 1 hour on the patio until it reaches moisture of 11%. Usually the drying on the patio will take between 10-14 days. Here it is then left to rest in bags in grain pro to settle for 30 days before being hulled ready for shipment.