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 quality and the working conditions, and this is the process we are a part of working with the family year on year.
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 cattle for milking purposes, 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 there 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.
The bit of the farm Drop Coffee is buying - Roma lot
Tablón Roma, that we are buying, is located in the western side of Finca Nejapa but was left unplanted until about 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, in those days it was in vogue planting this short-size producing tree with good yields needed to repay the loan, gladly 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 the Caturra varietal.
The Yellow Caturra varietal
At the Roma lot, both Red and Yellow Caturra are growing. This is the Yellow Caturra. The difference in fruit colour is one of the reason that makes the coffee taste different, theories as the red cherry is taking in more light than the yellow as the yellow reflects more light. But there are also different varietals, where in this case the Red Caturra tastes more of red apple, 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 for the people living by the Roma lot but also for the people in the surrounding area. Re-visiting this year it was great to see the family improved living conditions by the plot of the farm. See more about the project here .
Producer: Gloria Rodrigues with family; Luis Roudrigues (son in law) and Maria-José (daughter)
Farm: Finca Nejapa
Varietal: Yellow Caturra
Region: Ahuachapán, Santa Ana
Picked: March to April 2018
Elevation: 1550 mail
Sustainability project: Installed new solar panels and filter for clean water at the farm.
Flavour description: Creamy cup with medium body. This coffee reminds us of yellow pear with some milk chocolate notes. An aftertaste of pear and passionfruit.