Coffee is harvested at Finca España during the final weeks of December through most of January and February. The harvest can continue as late as March.
All coffee from the farm is carefully harvested by hand and meticulously sorted before being delivered for processing to the nearby Beneficio El Carmen. Fernando Alfaro, the owner of the mill and El Carmen Estate, works with the family to process their coffee to their specifications so as to assure its quality and consistency.
After the harvest, the cherries are carefully placed in sealed tanks for 168 hours to initiate the anaerobic fermentation. Once complete, the cherries are dispersed on raised beds for 20 days, then moved to clay patios for another 8 days. After the ideal moisture content is reached, the coffee is hulled and rested before export.
El Salvador is the smallest of the Central American nations, but do not let its diminutive size fool you. It produces exceptional coffees to a consistently high standard.
The history of coffee in El Salvador is inextricably linked to the development of the nation, itself. Introduced in the late 1880’s, coffee quickly displaced indigo as the country’s chief export, and by the 1920s, coffee accounted for 90% of all El Salvador’s exports.
Despite its small size, the country is efficient and able to maintain high yields thanks to the dedication of producers and the ideal climates for coffee production.