Mauricio Ortiz and Mary Ortiz - El Sunzita
Location: El Pasti, Santa Ana, El Salvador
Farm Size: 16 hectares
Elevation: 1400 meters above sea level
Varietals: Red Bourbon, Pacas, Yellow Bourbon, Hybrid El Pasti
Bought since: 2015
Working with this couple is a true blessing. Maurizio is a highly skilled agronomist and is doing phenomenal work, and this coffee is a book example of it. For a few years, we are getting the four varietals grown at the farm kept separated for us. Drop Coffee is the only one buying the coffee sourced directly from the farm El Sunzita. Separating the different coffees, Mauricio found this hybrid of Bourbon growing at the farm, that he has chosen to call El Pasti. Mary received the Coffee grower of the year award, from the agricultural minister of El Salvador, because of the innovative process that they use at their farm. El Sunzita is a great example of driven producers that are putting in the extra work to achieve higher quality, also how small-scale producers and roasters can work together for higher quality. Year after year.
Mary and Mauricio were given their current piece of land through Mauricio's family, 30 years ago when they got married and started to grow coffee on the plot soon thereafter. Mauricio is an agronomist and Mary is working with admin and business. Step by step they have built an incredibly beautiful farm on their land. Today they have built a nursery to be able to strengthen weaker plants and installed a small pulper to be able to experiment with different processing. Their grown-up kids are getting more and more involved as well.
On their 16 hectares, they now have a beautiful nursery and a small-scale pulper. The altitude of El Sunzita is one of the lowest altitudes of coffee we are buying in El Salvador, at 1400 meters above sea level. This makes the coffee easily soluble in the brew.
Mauricio as an agronomist and producer is consulting other producers with agronomy too. At El Sunzita he is working as steadily and organic as he can, focusing on the three S’s; Soil, Sun and Shade. By covering the area with the coffee trees with shading trees, sending soil on tests readings and creating their own fertilizers. On the new plants, they have been focusing on building stronger roots of the plants, for three years they've applied biota and are also making fertilizers from the coffee pulp.
The farm belongs to the mountain pitch El Sunza, with a total of 140 hectares of coffee farms, owned by Mauricio's brother. In 2015, Mary and Mauricio decided they wanted to produce the coffee from their farm individually. They named their farm a small bit of El Sunza, El Sunzita and their aim was to process higher-quality coffee and sell it separately. And that is when we met the couple Ortiz and found a match in how we wished to work.