The Return of the Naturals


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Switching out from series of African coffees, we have launched a new coffee from a farm that some might find familiar. Santa Petrona belongs to our dear friends of the Pacas family from El Salvador, 6th generation producers and counting.This is also the second year that we are working with Federico and Lily Pacas as we have always had high respect for how they treat their coffee, their workers and also their community. When we visited them again at the beginning of this year, some parts of the farm were affected by the coffee leaf rust disease. Fortunately, with the application of preventive measures many months back, the farm was not as badly hit as many others.

In general, the natural processed coffees that we have cupped do not have as much of a “clean cup” characteristic as fully-washed coffees. This is the reason why we find it difficult to find good natural processed coffees. But if one is to find a lot that is extremely well-processed, then one can also expect to have a coffee that is extremely fruity and sweet, usually with a bigger body to compensate for a lower acidic cup. When we first cupped this new coffee, we were surprised by how clean this coffee was. We think it all boils down to the great job done at Beneficio Tuxpal. Federico manages the beneficio with the help of the mill manager. As he explained to us, the first was to pick just the perfect ripe cherries. Next,  the cherries are directly put in patio with someone constantly moving it to dry for 16-18 days. The coffee  is then rested at the warehouse for 45 days till it reaches 11.5% of humidity. The dry process took place just before shipping, it was sorted 100% by hand and bagged immediately in grain pro bags to keep as much freshness as possible.

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Being a natural-processed coffee, expect bags of brown sugar sweetness in the cup. Jammy dark cherries and mature grapes comes to mind next and hints of pistachio nuts lingers at the back. We really enjoyed this coffee both as a filter and espresso, seems to hit the right spot for either but with slightly differing yet tasty results. If you have not tried a natural-processed coffee, maybe this is just the right time for one!

  • Farm: Santa Petrona
  • Producer: Pacas Diaz family
  • Region: Santa Ana, El Salvador
  • Wet/Dry Mill: Beneficio Tuxpal
  • Varietal: Red Bourbon
  • Altitude: 1480m asl
  • Processing: Natural