El Salvador Cup of Excellence La Montañita Pacamara

El Salvador Cup of Excellence La Montañita Pacamara

Farm Description

La Montanita is a coffee we have bought for years now. Owned by Antonio Rene Aguilar Lemus, it is a fairly small farm of 17.5 Hecatares in total, planted entirely with the large-bean Pacamara cultivar. If you are not familiar with it, Pacamara is a cross between a naturally-occuring hybrid Pacas and the so-called "elephant-bean" cultivar, Maragogype (known for it's low-yield trees with huge bean size). The result is a non-traditional cup character with medium body, bright and lively acidity and unusual flavor profiles. The farm was handed down through the Aguilar family. The Aguilars run their own wet-mill so all steps of the coffee cultivation and processing are under the control of the farm (a true Estate coffee). While the farm is not organic certified, like many coffee farms it could be, the Aguilars do not use herbicides and practice manual weed control. They use organic fertilizers like chicken manure, coffee pulp and they count on nature for insect control. La Montanita is located in the Alotepec Mountain Range and has excellent altitude for coffee (1550 meters) which accounts for the slowly-maturing, dense coffee seeds and better acidity in the cup. But in the case of Pacamara, a lot of the cup character comes from this unusual cultivar. La Montañita placed several times in the Cup of Excellence, including #2 place in 2006. We offered this coffee way back in '04, and last year we bought the coffee as a "National Winner" from the CoE, and this year it made the final auction where we snapped it up.

This coffee is part of our Farm Gate pricing program.

Cupping Notes

The cup is really outstanding! The dry fragrance from the grounds is unusual, with molasses and caramel syrup, aromatic wood, raisin, dried plum, malt. Adding hot water, the wet aromatics have a lot of spice, cinnamon stick in particular, but there are also lush floral aspects and tropical fruits. For a Pacamara, it has very good body and exceptional balance, a darker flavor profile than expected, with suggestions of Indonesia-like foresty flavors, with clean fruit notes of red apple, blood orange, and plum. It has a very fine acidity, and in lighter roasts a strawberry brightness with sweet rhubarb flavor in the finish. Darker roasts have a scotch malt roast taste. As you can see, this coffee inspires many flavor descriptors! While the flavor profile is effected greatly by roast level, I liked the results all along the roast spectrum, from C+ to Roasted Coffee Pictorial Guide. ">FC+.

Chris Schooley adds: On the break there's a lot of deep maltiness and passing hints of sage. The body of this coffee is like a great big dollop of marshmallow. There is an interesting sweet/salty element throughout, like salt-water taffy with a soft fuji apple acidity and faint herbal notes of the sage from the break and a little fennel. Two days out of the roaster, the apple is more apparent and the finish is sweeter.

Score

89.7

Roast Recommendations

City+ to Full City+: see the notes above. Be aware that these large Pacamara beans will not agitate as easily in an air roaster, so reduce batch size slightly. Best to roast manually and stop at the verge of 2nd crack.

Processing

Wet Process

Varietal

Pacamara    

Grade & Appearance

SHB; 0 d/300gr, 19-20+ Screen

Packaging

Vacuum Packed at Origin
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This coffee has sold out. The review is provided for reference purposes only.

Coffee farms on volcanic soils, near La Montanita

Typical shading over coffee, El Salvador

Pacamara branch with new floration
 

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