This is the washed processed Pacas from El Sunzita. We also have available from this farm a washed and natural processed Bourbon. Of course, we recommend to try them all!
El Sunzita is a great example of driven producers that are putting in the extra work to achieve higher quality and how small-scale producers and roasters can work together for higher quality. The owners Mary and Mauricio Ortiz are agronomists used to deliver coffee to the local mill in El Sunza, that Drop Coffee bought coffee from. Today their coffee is kept separated and we are buying the coffee sourced from the couple Ortiz farm. Year after year we are getting more varietals separated. This is the Pacas varietal with a creamy yet light to medium body, with notes of vanilla custard, yellow pear, macadamia nuts.
Mauricios showing the small-scale processing at El Sunzita
About the farm El Sunzita
Mary and Mauri got handed their current piece of land through Mauricio's family 29 years ago when they got married and started to grow coffee on the plot. Mauricio is an agronomist and Mary is good at admin and business. Step by step they have built up an incredibly beautiful farm on the land. Today they have built a nursery to be able to strengthen weaker plants, installed a small pulper to be able to try experiments on. Their grown-up kids are getting more and more involved too.
The farm belongs to the mountain pitch El Sunza, with a total of 140 hectares of coffee farms, owned by Mauricio's brother. All the coffee from El Sunza are being processed together and so did this coffee and the first year we bought it as such.
Pacas is a natural mutation of Bourbon. Similar to other widely cultivated Bourbon mutants (as eg Villa Sarchi and Caturra). The variety was discovered in 1949 in the same region that El Sunzita is at, Santa Ana by the famous Pacas family. Today it accounts for about 25% of the country's coffee production. Pacas has a single-gene mutation that causes the plant to grow smaller and the cup profile is slightly more delicate compared to the Bourbon from El Sunzita.
The view from the Ortiz family's home at El Sunzita
Drop Coffee and El Sunzita
In 2015, Mary and Mauricio decided they wanted to produce the coffee from their farm completely individually. They named their farm as a small bit of El Sunza, El Sunzita and their aim was to process higher quality and sell this individually.
We’re now happy to have the coffee from El Sunzita at Drop Coffee, for the fourth year in a row working with the couple. Step by step we’ve been growing the cooperation. Over the last couple of years, our cooperation has given us the opportunity to have the varietals separated for us which means that we can offer these separately to you. Also, the coffee processing has got even better and we have a well-sorted and even beans to roast.
The production at El Sunzita
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 coffees we are buying from El Salvador, at 1400 meters above sea level. The quality and consistency from here are great, steady and sweet like a milk chocolate bar.
When leaf rust hit El Sunzita they lost half of the yield. However, this is now under control but they still need to apply some pesticides on a few individual trees for this. They have always been trying to work the most organic they can.
Mauricio as an agronomist and producer is consulting other producers with agronomy too. At El Sunzita he is working as steady and organic as he can, focusing on the three ”S”; The Soil, The Sun and The 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 fertilisers from the coffee pulp.
This truly is a family business where the grown-up daughter and sons are getting more and more involved in the business, Mauricio is managing the farm and Mary is doing the economy and logistics for the business. We’ve been visiting the farm every year since we started working together El Sunzita has improved their highest quality. Today 40% of what El Sunzita produce is still commercial coffee and is being processed as El Sunza, but year after year they are turning more of their volume into specialty coffee.
Mauricio and Mary Ortiz.
Producer: Mauricio Ortiz and Mary Ortiz
Region: El Pasti in the Santa Ana region
Harvest: February-March 2018
Elevation: 1400 meters above sea level
Flavour Description: A creamy coffee, yet with a light to medium body. Flavour notes of vanilla custard, yellow pear and macadamia nuts.