CHECK THE PRODUCTS
Region: Ataco, Apaneca
Farm: El Divisadero
Farmer: Mauricio Salaverria
Notes Of A Roaster From The Underground: chocolate, strawberry, mango, pineapple
El Divisadero is a 6-hectare plot of one of El Salvador's oldest farms, the Himalayan Finca. This plot located 1600 meters above sea level is planted mostly Bourbon, Caturra, Pacas and Pacamara. El Divisadero has a clay and volcanic soil of very good quality which produces coffees often awarded at the Cup of Excellence. For this microlot, For this microlot, Mauricio isolated a plot of Maragogype, natural processed. The maragogype variety is a natural mutation of Typica.
Divisadero is the name of the project led by Mauricio Salaveria which consists in bringing the coffees from his different farms (5 in total) together in one place to experiment with numerous processes and specific varieties.
The coffee washing and drying station, located at the Villa Galicia farm, is particularly impressive. Mauricio prepares dozens of different coffees, each with its own unique characteristics.
This group of farms is situated in a very beautiful region of El Salvador, known as The Flower Route. Mauricio is very careful to make optimum use of shade by employing an agroforestry model. Shade trees are very well suited to coffee production as they protect the soil and reduce water stress endured by coffee bushes in the dry season, hence promoting soil drainage. They are also excellent wind barriers, which are essential in this region for coffee trees to be able to grow.
Known as “the land of volcanoes,” El Salvador is the smallest Central American country (roughly the same size as New Jersey), but its reputation among specialty-coffee-growing regions has grown larger-than-life, especially since the early 2000s. While coffee was planted and cultivated here mostly for domestic consumption starting in the mid-1700s, it became a stable and significant crop over the next 100 years, notably increasing in national importance during the late 1800s, when the country’s indigo exports were threatened by the development and widespread marketability of synthetic dyes.
As coffee grew in economic importance, different government programs designed to increase production through land, tax, and military-exemption incentives created a small but strong network of wealthy landowners who gained control over the coffee market, in addition to the individual smallholders who were growing coffee as part of their subsistence farming and would sell their cherry to the larger estates or to mills.
By the late 1970s coffee exports accounted for 50 percent of the GDP, but socioeconomic and political unrest hurled the country into civil war for more than a decade, and in the 1980s various land-redistribution projects and agrarian reform disjointed the coffee industry and caused the market to decline. Lacking the resources to continue farming, producers abandoned their coffee farms, and many were left overgrown and unharvested for years until a peace agreement was reached in the 1990s.
It is often said that the Cup of Excellence competition, which came to El Salvador in 2003, was the beginning of the new “wave” of interest in Salvadoran coffee, shining the first light on some of the special varieties the small country grows.