El Salvador is known mainly for its big estates, but we are sourcing these day-lots from small-producing families in Potrero Grande, a microregion at the top of Volcan de Santa Ana, between Palo Campana and Buenos Aires. In Potrero, they have not planted as many hybrid varieties as they have elsewhere in El Salvador (such as Catimor in Buenos Aires), so the general quality of the cup is top-notch.
The Rio Zarco mill has a cherry receiving station in the middle of Potrero Grande, making it easy for farmers to drop off their bags after they’re done picking. Here they do an initial screening, and all bags are tagged with I.D.s telling us the farm, variety, and quality of picking.
When the bags arrive at the mill, Rio Zarco takes samples and puts them through a computer program which calculates the percentage of ripe cherry as opposed to green, semi-ripe, dry, and floating cherries. This way there is an objective standard to measure quality, and farmers who have picked well receive a bonus.
We are excited to be able to showcase these coffees from small producers in Potrero Grande who are producing such high-quality coffee.