Los Andes is a very interesting coffee produced by an outstanding coffee producer, and this year we decided to have it as our Christmas coffee since we got this delicious Bourbon as a washed as well as a natural process. Ernesto Menéndez is a well known name in the coffee industry. He has won The Cup of Excellence several times, and we are proud to have this coffee from him. A couple of years ago we had all the coffee grown at the farm as a mix, but last year Ernesto separated the SL28 from the Bourbon for us. This means you can taste the two very unique taste profiles from Los Andes grow side by side at the farm. This year we get the treat of different processing methods as well.
This is the natural Bourbon varietal which has a big mouthfeel reminding of chocolate covered raspberries, with a long lasting aftertaste of prune juice.
In the video below Ernesto is presenting the two varietals together with our managing director and green coffee buyer Joanna Alm. He is telling the story of the farm and showing you how the plants are different, the cherries are different and some farming techniques he is applying at Los Andes. Ernesto has had Los Andes since 2009.
Drop Coffee and Los Andes
Los Andes is exclusively Drop coffee, it is about 4 hectares which is a bigger size for Drop at the moment but we find it worth taking a little more of this coffee, for the clear cooperation between Drop Coffee and Los Andes. Ernesto holds a lot of knowledge and has been very communicative. Walking the farm together with him is like opening a true treasure, he holds so much knowledge and skills from the agriculture, processing and to the cupping table.
Visiting Ernesto at Los Andes, January 2017.
The Bourbon varietal at Los Andes
Los Andes has quite an interesting story. Almost 60-70 years ago, the previous owner of the farm planted SL28 trees on the land which he had taken home from a hunting trip in Kenya. Normally the trees we're buying from are about 12-20 years old.
The Bourbon varietal is growing right beside the SL28, some of the trees are even older, coming up to 80 years. Bourbon coffee was first produced in Reúnion, which was known as Île Bourbon before 1789. It was later taken by the French to mainland Africa and to Central America. The taste profile of Bourbon is one that I like the most in El Salvador, its mature sweetness matches the slightly bigger mouthfeel that is typical for the country.
As every coffee farm these plants are unique. At Los Andes everything is left to grow "wild" to create a more wild forest environment. The plants age and grow into the natural forest environment that Ernesto is looking after, the plants make the environment really special.
80 years old Bourbon tree at Los Andes
The SL28 ( to the left) are big and shiny and shaped more like M&M candy than the smaller and more rounded Bourbon (to the right).
Producer: Ernesto Menéndez
Location: Apaneca-Ilamatepec Mountain Range, Santa Ana
Picking period: April 2018
Altitude: 1720 masl
Flavour description: A sweet, medium bodied cup, reminding of chocolate covered raspberries, with a long lasting aftertaste of sweet prune juice.