As always, we buy a lot of different coffee from San Cayetano. We've got the Red Bourbon as Yellow Honey, Washed and Natural processes which will each highlight different aspects of the coffee. On top of that, we will have a small lot of the Pacamara.
This is the natural process of the Red Bourbon and will be the most mature of the three. The natural process means that the coffee has dried within its cherry before taking the beans out. This process gives the coffee a bigger body and more mature red cherry notes to the cup. It has a sweetness that reminds of prune juice with notes of raisin, mature strawberries and white flowers.
About Rafael and Carmen Silva Hoff
This coffee is from our long-time friends Rafael and Carmen Silva Hoff, who is based in Ahuachapán in the Santa Ana region. The couple has a processing station, where they process coffee for surrounding farmers in the area. This process station is known for being working strict and accurate. Rafael is still working hands-on for several hours each day, but the turnout at the processing station is also of a higher standard than we've seen elsewhere in El Salvador. They pay well and the process station is very clean, organized and tidy.
As the years have gone, we have seen the family members getting more and more into the business as well, their son Rafael Jr is now working full time with the family.
Rafael Silva, Joanna Alm and Carmen Silva
About San Cayetano
This coffee is from Carmen and Rafael's own farm called San Cayetano. It’s located in extremely steep and windy conditions where the leaves get blown right off the trees, making them weaker and less productive.
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. For these reasons, the yield has been lower the last couple of years. But Rafael and Carmen have built more windbreakers to shield their plants and applying sulphate and fertilizers. In some areas of San Cayetano that are more fragile to Roja, opera and zink are being applied (helps the leaves). Since a couple of years, a natural organic fertiliser made at the farm, have improved the yield even more.
About Red Bourbon
The Red Bourbon trees are fairly tall and have thinner spines, which is tuff in terms of the steep farm and the strong wind. Still, Rafael loves the flavour characteristics of the Red Bourbon. In El Salvador, I think the different kinds of Bourbon taste very sweet and complex in general.
The Bourbon varietal was first discovered at the Bourbon Island, hence the name, and has been spread and is now grown all over the coffee growing world. Originating maybe on the island of Bourbon or perhaps Ethiopia, this varietal has many sub-varietals: Yellow-, Orange -and Red Bourbon. Because of its generally low yield, Bourbon tends to produce a very high-quality cup (there is evidence that the lower the yield the higher the quality as the plant can use its energy more efficiently). Typical cup characteristics for Red Bourbon in El Salvador are a low-medium body, balanced, chocolatey, low-medium acidity with a typically sweet profile.
Red Bourbon freshly picked at San Cayetano.
Drop Coffee and San Cayetano
This is the fourth 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. The last few years, we have had the San Cayetano as Christmas Coffee. So, let's just say that Christmas came very early this year.
Farm: San Cayetano
Producer: Rafael and Carmen Silva Hoff
Varietal: Red Bourbon
Process station: Sicafe (owned by Rafael and Carmen Silva Hoff)
Region: Ahuachapán, Santa Ana
Picked: February to March 2018
Elevation: 1550 masl
Flavour description: The natural process of this coffee gives us a mature and big cup with notes of prune juice, raisin and hints of white flowers.