Finca Matalapa is a classic estate coffee, long before there were mini-mills and micro-lots. It has a complete independent mill to service the farm, from the tree through wet-processing, patio drying, hulling and preparation, to loading the coffee in jute bags and packing the shipping container. The mill is filled with fantastic, classic coffee equipment painted in bold colors. And it's the passion of the owner, Vickie Ann Dalton de Diaz, and the love of archaic machinery on the part of her husband that keeps the mill running and the coffee tasting so wonderful! Finca Matalapa is in the Libertad area, not far from the capital of San Salvador, on a west-facing slop ranging from 1200 meters up to the ridge top at 1350 meters. It's not the highest farm around, but the coffee cups out so well. It's a 4th generation coffee estate totaling 120 hectares and was founded in the late 1800's by Fidelia Lima, great grandmother of the Vickie. She maintains 14 acres of virgin tropical forest and keeps her coffee plants shaded with over forty varieties of larger trees. The cup has the character I aspire to find in El Salvador Bourbon-type coffees, though because of the strong winds in the area they find the native Salvador Pacas varietal to fare better in this region. Pacas is a natural mutation of the Bourbon varietal.
This coffee has great balance and sweet accent notes. The dry fragrance has dried cherry, toffee, cinnamon and a raw sugar sweetness. The same raw sugar scent is found in the wet aroma, along with a candy sweet smell of caramel and praline nut, and a nice citrus blossom note on the break. The cup is bright in light roasts, with a nice, orange acidity that becomes more apparent in the cooling cup. Flavors of honey and nut, and a malty grain sweetness are pleasing. Light roasts have a correspondingly light body, but it fits the high-toned, refreshing flavor profile overall. I prefer this roast level for brewed coffee; the finish is clear and refined. But FC roast has a very nice sweetness and balance between roast taste, acidity, and body. And if you prefer a more bittersweet cup with softer acidity, FC roast works great. Overall this Peaberry lot is the brighter, livelier version of the Matalapa flat bean coffee, and excellent brewed in a vacuum pot, dripper or Technivorm. It's a very small crop again, and Vickie could produce only 4 bags of Peaberry for us this year. But still, we are excited about the cup quality of this coffee.