El Salvador Finca San Carlos
Origin: Canton Potrero Grande Arriba, El Salvador
Region: Santa Ana-ILAMATEPEC Volcano
Farmer: Carlos Raul Riera Menendez
Varietal: Bourbon, Pacamara, Kenya
Altitude: 1650-1850 meters
Proc. Method: Fully Washed-Patio Dried
In the Cup: Big Body-Creamy-Caramel-Well Balanced
Protected from the wind, this small finca is tucked away on the eastern slope of Ilamatepec Volcano, Canton Potrero Grande. Although the harvest was lost during the eruption of 2005, the farm escaped serious damage. I have always loved the vibe. Hard work by passionate people happens here.
A few years ago, when the Roya outbreak was just beginning, Carlos went to Colombia to learn more about the strategies to overcome the disease. While he was there they spoke of the Colombian Castillo (F5 Hybrid). He convinced them to give him one pound of seeds. I’m not sure of the exact numbers, but this year both Carlos and Ernesto are planting 10’s of thousands of this new cultivar at lower elevations. Each farmer has planted some at higher elevations that are producing fruit now. We are going to know a lot more in the coming years regarding cup quality of this Roya resistant cultivar. From the “Things I learned from Carlos”: How to recognize the entry point of the Boca de Fruto (fruit beetle) and the fruit is not ready until you can squeeze 3 drops of honey (juice).
This has been a family farm for 75 years. Carlos inherited this finca from his father, Dr. Amadeo Riera y Solona to whom he credits with teaching him the dedication and care necessary to produce what Carlos laughingly says is, “the best coffee in all of El Salvador.” Maybe just one of the best as Finca San Carlos consistently finishes in the El Salvador Cup of Excellence top 20. Carlos and his family are committed to the social welfare of the surrounding communities through active participation in programs that encourage education, job growth, conservation, and the national culture.
2018 Update- The Colombian Castillo should be producing fruit for the 18-19 harvest. Tabi, Geisha and a new naturally occurring decaf variety planted at various times over the lat few years should be producing enough fruit for testing during the upcoming harvest.