La Esperanza is a fairly delicate, nuanced El Salvador. Toffee/caramel sweetness, roasted barley green tea, lemony acidity, light body, clean mouthfeel. City to Full City.
|Region||Quetzaltepeque, La Libertad|
|Processing||Wet Process (Washed)|
|Drying Method||Patio Sun-Dried|
|Arrival date||June 2019 Arrival|
|Bag size||69 KG|
|Cultivar Detail||H1 Centroamericano|
|Appearance||.4 d/300gr, 16-18 Screen|
|Roast Recommendations||City to Full City - I preferred the "light and bright" cups the most|
No, "H1" is not a Formula 1 car. It's a hybrid cultivar, also commonly referred to as "Centroamericano". It's also what's called an F1 hybrid, which are first generation offspring from two very different parent plants; in this case a Sarchimor (Timor hybrid and Villa Sarchi) and an African heirloom cultivar Rume Sudan. An important aspect of F1 hybrids is that you have to buy the 1st generation seeds in order to produce. Essentially, you can't re-plant seed from an F1 and expect to get the same "Centroamericano" characteristics like you would with other commercial varieties. The upside is that being 1st generation, they have what's called "hybrid vigor", which in this case is expressed as resistance to leaf rust ("la roya") and the ability to outproduce many of the older Bourbon and Caturra types. We've also noticed a somewhat delicate flavor profile with H1 cultivar that I can best describe as having lemon grass and even floral cup character. I don't know that they're all this way, but the El Salvador and Mexico coffees we picked up this season certainly have that in common. Finca La Esperanza borders El Boqueron National Park, a majestic natural forest that is home to a multitude of wildlife, and a main feature of San Salvador’s volcano crater. After the leaf rust crisis, most farmers in the region let the original Bourbon and Pacas cultivars die off, replanting with rust-resistant varieties that unfortunately also produce an inferior cup. However, La Esperanza has kept most of its original tree populations, which farm managers have kept productive and healthy by implementing integrated farming practices. The farm is broken into several plots, most with intermixing of Arabigo (Typica) and Bourbon. La Esperanza benefits from being able to hire the same group of pickers each harvest, who know the farm well, and know which cherries are ripe enough to pick. The coffee is transported to a mill in San Miguel where each batch is processed individually under strict processing protocols to ensure the quality of the beans are maintained. La Esperanza is a fairly large farm, and altitude ranges from 1000 to 1350 meters above sea level.
The dry fragrance has transparent sweet smells in light roasts with hints of nut and roasted barley. City+ and Full City show more developed sweetness, a scent of raw sugar mingling with a sweet hazelnut smell. The wet aromatics are more complex and you catch a glimpse of herbal tea amidst a cooked raw sugar smell that sends caramelized sweetness wafting in the steam. The cup is much more delicate than the fragrance might let on and this H1 separation from Finca La Esperanza is a fairly nuanced brew when roasted light. Drinking my City roast, there're toffee/caramel underlying flavors with top notes of lemon grass, roasted barley and green tea. The tea-like flavors have a mouth cleansing affect on the finish, as well as add a lemony acidic impression that lends a 'zippy' tart characteristic to the cup. Full City roasts are much more two dimensional, delivering a well-balanced cup with more substantial body, and flavor notes of roasted cacao nibs and caramel.