About the San Cayetano, Washed Red Caturra
Flavour profile: The washed process version of the Red Caturra gives us a clean yet round cup with an aroma of mature red apples. Flavour notes of red apple cider and nougat. An aftertaste of red grape.
Colour: Wine red
Producer: Carmen and Rafael Silva Hoff with family
Farm: San Cayetano
Varietal: Red Caturra
Region: Ahuachapán, Santa Ana
Process station: San Pedro owned by Rafael and Carmen Silva Hoff's
Process: Washed processed. The coffee is depulped the same day as harvest, soaked and dried on raised beds in three different levels to control the drying. The beans are turned over by hand continuously every day. For the washed process, the water the reservoir is used. Staff onsite also only turn the coffee by hand, log the moisture at different stages of the drying process, and have access to a great cupping lab with a well-trained crew in taste and routines.
Elevation: 1450 meters above sea level
Roast: Light to medium. Great for any brewing method, it you like fruity sweet coffee.
Price Transparency: The FOB price we paid for this coffee was 3,75 USD/lb.
A Red Caturra from El Salvador associates with sweet milk chocolate and red apple flavours to us and so does this coffee! It is produced by our long-time friends Rafael and Carmen Silva Hoff, based in the Santa Ana region in El Salvador. As always, we buy a lot of different coffee from their farm San Cayetano.
The couple Rafael and Carmen has a processing station, where they process coffee for surrounding farmers in the area. It is known for its strict and accurate working standards. But, on top of that this coffee is from Carmen and Rafael's own farm called, San Cayetano. The farm is located in extremely steep and windy conditions in Ahuachapán in the Santa Ana region.
About Carmen and Rafael Silva Hoff
This is the sixth year we are buying the coffee from Carmen and Rafael. The family is so professional to work with and are so hardworking and the friendliest people. They have full control from the farm throughout the process and export to us.
Sourcing green coffee, we meet a lot of producers and all of them are working very hard. But none we have ever met is working as focused and as many hours of the day as Rafael. He is in total running six farms and one mill.
Being very young Rafael got introduced to coffee, and at the age of 21 Rafael got his first farm from his father. A few years later he met his wife Carmen. The couple got married in their young 30s and since then they are running the business together.
In 2010, they decided to invest in their own mill called San Pedo. Not to make a lot of money from it, but for having full control of the full process of the coffee. Here they process coffee from their own farms separated by day lots and varietals, and they also process coffee for other producers in the area. Their two sons, Rafael Gerardo and Rodrigo, and their daughter Valeria are now full time involved in the business.
Carmen and Rafael been winning the El Salvador Cup of Excellence for their farm many times since 2005. And in 2017 San Cayetano won Silver in the Agenca Pour la Valoriastion des Produits Agirole.
In El Salvador, the biggest challenges is security for the people and the coffee fungus called leaf rust (roja). As in most places in El Salvador, the neighbouring farms to San Cayetano are suffering badly from leaf rust which can easily be transferred to the plants at San Cayetano by the wind. Rafael and Carmen have built more windbreakers to shield their plants and applying sulfate and fertilizers. Since a couple of years, a natural organic fertilizer made at the farm, have improved the yield even more. They are using rainwater they are collecting in two big reservoirs, which is enough for all their water needs.
At the mill, many of the workers are employed all year with full insurance and they pay their staff above the national guidelines.