El Salvador - Los Guachipilines
CAMOMILE, HONEY, VANILLA
OMNI ROAST (What’s an omni roast?)
REGION | La Palma, Chalatenango
PROCESS | Washed
SPECIES | Arabica
VARIETY | Pacas, Catuai, Pacamara
ALTITUDE | 1359 MASL
ABOUT LOS GUACHIPILINES
When Los Guachipilines became a farm, it was a plot of land full of guachipilin trees (or native inga), a nitrogen-fixing tree common in the region. Gloria, the owner, has been involved in coffee production for 30 years. It all started when she saw the land on which they lived was suitable for coffee cultivation, and that it could be a source of income for her family. Gloria says “I have had good and not-so-good experiences with coffee and farming, but I have managed to get through them, I am still standing, and I have hope.”
Gloria works on the farm with her husband Ricardo Adelmo Diaz and her right-hand worker Don Jose, who oversees farm activities and finding local labour during the harvest season. In 2016 she joined Caravela Coffee’s Grower’s Education Program and began to make slight changes every harvest to improve farm management activities, drying, and processing. Previously, she lost many coffees during the fermentation process because there was no good protocol in place on the farm to achieve satisfactory results.
Now, when processing the coffees, Gloria focuses on picking the coffee cherries at their optimal ripeness, and since the pulper is equipped with a sieve, the wet parchment goes through a screen-sizing phase to obtain a more homogenous batch. After this, the coffee ferments for 12 hours and depending on weather conditions fermentation can extend to 16 or 18 hours.
After washing the coffee, the drying phase for every daily lot is carried out on three-level African-style raised beds for 15 to 20 days. Raised beds are not covered with shade because the weather is humid and cloudy, so all available daylight hours must be used during harvest time.
On the farm, 70% of the acreage is Pacas variety, 20% Catuai, and 10% Pacamara. Gloria is proud of her farm and her work and tells us, "When I see the trees full of red cherries, I am happy. It is like seeing the fruits of my sacrifices, it shows all the work I have done." She adds, "We continue to do our best, and we have to continue with obtaining fair prices, and we hope that our work is valued."
HISTORY OF COFFEE IN EL SALVADOR
El Salvador’s coffee industry has huge economic importance, with boom and bust cycles brought on by what Salvadorans refer to as ‘el grano de oro’ (the ‘grain of gold’). The climate, soil, and altitude are perfectly suited for coffee production, with farms typically found from 1000 - 2365m above sea level.