True to its processing technique the Sumalvador has a heavy body, fresh cedar and forest floor flavors along with plum and baker's cacao signifying the coffee's heavy dose of Bourbon varietal. The finish is smokey, almost like applewood charcoal, and laden with high % cacao in the sense of bitter flavor and even dryness. City+ is ideal.
Sumalvador is a product of Aida Battle and her farms in Santa Ana, El Salvador. This is unique coffee strictly in the sense of its processing method. In the past we've seen virtually all coffee produced in El Salvador processed in the washed method or wet-processed method. We are now seeing more and more coffees from this origin being processed naturally or even semi-washed and wet hulled which is the case of this particular lot. After being depulped of their cherry skins coffee beans are fermented briefly, washed simply and laid to dry on patios but only to 20-25% moisture with a good percentage of their fruit still intact. After the initial drying the coffee beans are wet hulled meaning that the parchment covering around the bean is removed before drying is finish. This processing method is traditional in Sumatra, hence the name, and leaves the green beans exposed to the elements. Its this final stage in the process that allows for the coffee's wild fruit and forest floor cup characteristics.
The dry fragrance of Sumalvador ranges from praline to peach, with a healthy dose of dark cocoa. Caramel-butter aromatics emerge in the wet grounds, with chocolate syrup, cocoa powder, and stone fruit permeating from beneath the crust. The differences in flavor between the City and City+ roasts are dramatic. Raw pipe tobacco and wild fruit set the tone for the City roast's flavor profile. True to its processing technique the Sumalvador has a heavy body though not crystal clear as far as cleanliness goes; fresh cedar and forest floor flavors are marked in both roasts. As the City roast cools more traditional Salvadorian flavors come out i.e. plum and baker's cacao signifying the coffee's heavy dose of Bourbon varietal. The finish is smokey, almost like applewood charcoal, and laden with high % cacao in the sense of bitter flavor and even dryness. The City+ roast showed us considerably more balance and constraint in the flavor profile. The flavor profile is dominated by sweeter creme fraiche flavors, bittersweet cacao but remains tart enough with its tartaric acidity. The cedar and forest floor notes are kept more at bay at City+ as well even though the mouth feel is still lush, full. While the finish reminded me of high % cacao in the City roast I found flavor more along the lines of black walnut in the City+. Sumalvador is best suited for a City+ for Full City+ roast which would also translate into a balanced, semi-sweet espresso; kinda like what you would expect to get in Italy even though you won't.