Los Luchadores means "the wrestlers" and it is the name of an intense and unusual pulp-natural processed Pacamara. It's a project by Aida Batlle, who also brings us the award-winning Finca Kilimanjaro and her exclusive Grand Reserve each year. The coffee is grown on the Buenos Aires farm in Metapan, El Salvador, owned by Don Samuel Valiente. Only about 4% of Mr. Valiente's farm is planted with Pacamara. The farm is located in the far north of the country, near the border with Guatemala. The idea to take this distinct cultivar and perform the pulp natural process on it, rather than create a fully washed (wet-process) coffee, is rather bold. I suppose that's why it is a Luchador, a heavyweight wrestler. But it's not a unique idea: we offer our special lot of pulp natural Pacamara from Limoncillo farm in Nicaragua as well. But this lot has a distinct cup, non-traditional to be sure. I tested these at some improbably light roast levels - just barely through first crack - as well as roasts that I would think more appropriate for pulp naturals - FC to FC+.
I was surprised at the sweet, clean fruit aromas from the light levels. It wasn't pulpy fruit; the dry fragrance has fig, plum and a hint of lychee. The FC roast was very chocolaty, but laced with darkly fruited scents. The wet aroma was dynamic and sweet (caramel and marshmallow) at the light roast levels as well, very sweet, spiced with cinnamon and a trace of mace, and intense fruit (mango and baked peaches). As far as the cup, both City + and Full City+ hit the spot. Baked peaches, apricot, mango, and strawberry ... this cup has wonderful fruit notes in the light roast, with a caramel backdrop. Chocolate bittersweet develops toward FC+ roast level and the fruit is muted, but forms a different flavor profile equally as compelling; lush milk chocolate flavor, a bit of anise seed flavor to the finish, Ibarra Mexican hot chocolate. And as it cools I start to think about chocolate-dipped strawberry. Acidity is fairly mild; it's more about the fruited notes, and body (which improves quite a bit after several days rest). I would try one roast of each of these levels, and possibly even make a m©lange of the two. As usual, I would say the light roast, with unrestrained sweet fruits, is where I end up with this coffee.