El Salvador is a small country in Central America, bordering Honduras and Guatemala. Coffee has been grown here since the 1850’s, on soils that are well-drained and volcanic. Throw in a remarkably high percentage of high-quality varietals like Bourbon, and there is potential for amazingly sweet, soft coffees, perfect for brewing espresso.
We hope to visit in early 2023, as we are starting to roast more El Salvadorian coffee each year, and it’s easy to see why – the chocolate flavours, the soft fruit, the versatility, and the overriding sweetness mean they are real crowd-pleasers.
Apaneca-Ilamatepec, otherwise known as Santa Ana, after the nearby volcano, is the most well-known region, but others, like the Chichontepec, Tepeca-Chinameca, and Quezaltepec are all other growing areas with good altitudes and rich soils.
Fernando Lima’s family have been growing coffee since the 1930’s, and Finca Serbia is a testament to the decades of experience they have accumulated. Tall shade trees, cedars, balsalms and oaks form a protective canopy over the coffee trees, blocking the UV of the intense summer sun, even at 1100 metres above sea level. The rich volcanic soils of the Apaneca region, the plentiful rainfall, plus rigorous attention to detail in every area means the finished coffee is perfectly balanced, and is fast becoming a favourite at NCR Towers, especially brewed as espresso. The plantations at Serbia were replanted with coffee-rust (roya) resistant varieties, so as the rest of the country struggled with coffee rust disease in the mid 2010’s, Serbia’s production was stable. The coffee is processed at the onsite mill, allowing control of every stage of the process.
El Salvador coffees tend to be sweet and chocolatey, so expect: