San Juan Espresso
Red fruit, strawberries
El Salvador - Finca San Juan
The Jasal group – Las Cruces
WHERE I'M FROM
This farm is part of a project with an El Salvadorian producer, Jose Antonio Salaverria and he’s two sons Andres Salaverria and Jose Antonio Salaverria the younger. They are now the 6th generation of coffee producers. The ancestors started with coffee in Huachapan. Jose Antonio Senior was offered a house from he’s father in 1970, but told him he wanted a farm instead. And he was given Finca Los Nogales, that’s still in the family and one of the farms we are buying from the group.
The coffees from the different farms are all processed at their central mill, Las Cruces. They bought Beneficio Las Cruses in 1990 and have done a lot of improvements since then. A lot of their success is based on their passion for coffee. They have been hard working and realistic, patient and focused on quality to make it sustainable. They have also managed to build a great team. Jose Antonio consider the workers and the team as the biggest asset.
They have three different main areas of coffee production around the Santa Ana volcano in El Salvador. They have always been producing high quality at a larger scale, but previously the coffee was mainly separated into a few brand names based on the three main areas, such as Santa Rita, San Francisco and El Molino. El Molino is an old mill with surrounding farms and was bought 80 years ago by the family. The farms at El Molino is about 100 years old. They have had the San Francisco complex from about 2002. Santa Rita from 2005.
But their three coffee growing areas actually consist of a great number of initial farms and new farms they have inherited or bought over the last decades.
They basically started to separate out several small farms and blocks with the better altitude, quality potential and growing conditions. From 1400 to 1750 meters above sea level is regarded as a good altitude in El Salvador. In this area it’s hard to grow coffees above this level.
They also have a number of different varietals at their farms, and are currently doing a lot of experiments. The majority is still a mix of the old traditional Bourbon Elite, and something they call Hibrido San Fransisco wich is a mix of Bourbon Elite and Pacas.
The most impressive thing with coffees from Salaverria is the overall quality of picking: deep blood red and uniform color. Considering the volumes they are doing in total it is pretty amazing!
The coffees are for the most part processed based on trials and adjustments we made at the wet mill. They are using eco pulpers called Jotagallo that are doing about 80% mechanical demucilaging. Their standard procedure is to take the parchment from the pulpers directly to the patio for drying. The coffees are then dried on clay patio up to 15 days or on drying beds in sun or under shade.
They have a long tradition of producing naturals that are coming out better than many others from Central America. They have pretty good weather conditions, a dry climate and it’s not too hot. They dry most of their naturals on patios at higher altitudes than Las Cruces.
Most of these coffees are of what the Salaverrias call the San Francisco variety—that’s a hybrid of Pacas and the old Bourbon Elite, developed at the farm. Some of the blocks do contain old Bourbon trees, Bourbon Elite, and a mix of Bourbon and Pacas. Occasionally you can find Pacamaras as well as Catuai, Caturra and Catimors.
Agronomy and plant treatment
Leaf rust has been one of the major challenges for farmers in El Salvador the last years. Many producers are now giving up and are abandoning their farms. The Salaverrias have worked the last 8 years to regenerate the soil through usage of Huisil (organic compost/fertilizer) as a soil regenerator.
Jose Antonio Senior is one of the founders of the Huisil factory, where they produce fertilizer based on organic waste. 40% is coffee pulp, the rest is from fish, meat, chicken dung, bones and plants. It smells terrible during production. But after dried and made in to pellets it’s fine, and it really works!
According to Jose Antonio junior, that is managing the agronomy side, it’s about making the plants healthy, strong and resistant.
Sustainability and social responsability
- 60 % of production is Rain Forest Certified. They do it to maintain the environment and ensure social responsibility.
- Give significant bonuses to farm managers based on the performance of the coffees and premiums they get.
- Have as much permanent staff as possible that allows them to maintain a local work force. 50 – 60 people lives on their farms.
- Better salaries for the pickers. They try to implement an environmental work athmosphere and good work ethics.
- By creating good systems they help workers to be efficient so they can leave earlier. And that way be more comfortable.
- Create work safety education
- Provide housing for casual workers in San Francisco.
- Health care for workers – doctors visiting the farms.
- Paying the local clinics for medical care of their workers.
They also built two medical clinics in Atacco and are supporting them financially and donated land to two other clinics for the government.
Donated a site for the school in San Francisco and are building a soccer field.
The grandfather donated the site to the hospital in Ahuachapan
The tradition and culture of the family is generally to do a lot of charity for the local communities.
We roast on Mondays and Tuesdays and dispatch on Mondays and Tuesdays only.