Finca Nejapa, Red Caturra, El Salvador 2019
About the coffee
Flavour description: A creamy cup with medium body and red grape acidity. This coffee is easy to like, with a taste profile of mature red apple and milk chocolate notes with an aftertaste of pomegranate.
Colour: Pomegranate red
Producer: Gloria Rodrigues with family
Farm: Finca Nejapa
Varietal: Red Caturra
Region: Ahuachapán, Santa Ana
Harvested: March to April 2019
Altitude: 1550 masl
Sustainability project: Installed new solar panels and filter for clean water at the farm.
Roast style: Light to medium to enhance the natural flavours of the coffee.
This is the only Caturra that has been awarded in the Cup of Excellence award in El Salvador. The success of Finca Nejapa, owned by Gloria Rodrigues, is the result of a strong family unit. Their hard work and skills have really paid off in the quality of their product. By working together, they can maintain and potentially improve the working conditions as well as the cup profile. . We will have three different varieties from the Roma lot this year, starting off with this awarded Caturra. It is a sweet round cup that is like a really good chocolate bar - most people will like or even love it, chocolate pro’s will know it is made of some really good products! We are proud of another year with the coffee from a stunning producer and dear friends.
The story of Finca Nejapa
The farm was inherited by Gloria’s father, José María Rodríguez Herrera in the 50’s, at that time the property was devoted to dairy cows, and it was José Maria who started growing coffee of the Bourbon variety. Little by little, he noticed coffee was extremely productive in that area, and that is where the story begins.
Nejapa still farms 7 hectares reforested with cedar trees, approximately 10 years old. The farm also has a diversity of shade trees, which helps maintain and preserve both the soil conditions and a wide variety of birds and small mammals that can be seen in that region. The Finca Nejapa farm is on the slopes of the Laguna de Las Ninfas (Water lilies lagoon) with a spectacular sight over the Apaneca-Ilamatepec mountain range. Every year, Gloria establishes nurseries with selected seeds to keep her farm in good shape, balance production and secure future crops.
Tablón Roma, that Drop Coffee is buying everything of, is located in the western side of Finca Nejapa but was left unplanted until 10 years ago, when Gloria obtained a loan through a local investment bank to redevelop and replant this area. The variety chosen for this plot was red and yellow Caturra, planting this short-size producing tree with good yields was needed to repay the loan. The variety and terroir combination resulted in great quality coffee as well. This farm was awarded in the El Salvador Cup of Excellence in 2008 and 2009 with just this Roma lot and this Caturra varietal.
At the Roma lot, both Red and Yellow Caturra are growing. This is the Red Caturra. The difference in fruit colour is one of the reason that makes the coffee taste different, the theory is that the red cherry is taking in more light than the yellow as the yellow reflects more light. But they are also different varietals, where in this case the Red Caturra tastes more of red apple, is cidery with a milk chocolate sweetness, and the yellow is more like tropical fruit and almonds.
As a charity project, we did a dinner with WINETRADE and Mathias Dahlgren where all the money went straight to installing electricity and water filters at the Roma lot. Visiting years after this, it is great to see the families living by the plot of the farms improved living conditions. See more in my chat to Gloria and Luis Roudriguez about it here . The FOB prices for this coffee was 3.5 USD per pound.