Los Andes is a very interesting coffee produced by an outstanding coffee producer. Ernesto Menéndez is a well known name in the coffee industry. He has won The Cup of Excellence several times. In 2010 he competed with Los Andes, however his brother won that year and Los Andes placed fifth. We are proud to have this coffee from Ernesto Menéndez. The last two year we have had all the coffee growing at the farm as a mix, but this year Ernesto have separated the SL28 to the Bourbon for us. This means you can taste the two very unique taste profiles from Los Andes that been growing side by side at the farm. This is the SL28 varietal from the farm. It has some creamy and sweet white grape attributes typical for the El Salvadorian cup profile. The SL28 varietal gives a lasting aftertaste of hibiscus and a lime juice acidity.
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, keeping it as a lush and forest like environment.
Drop Coffee and Los Andes
This year we have bought coffee from three of Ernesto's farms, however Los Andes is exclusively Drop coffee. It's on 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 which allows us to be more involved. Cupping, visiting mill or walking the the farm or just having a chat over a coffee together with Ernesto 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.
Varietals and history of 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, and although it takes a lot of maintenance as shon in the video above, the trees are producing extraordinary well.
The SL28 trees have of course naturally adapted to the conditions in Apaneca and El Salvador and will therefor not taste like a Kenyan coffee per say, it will taste like an El Salvadorian SL28 grown after Ernestos farming philosophy.
The SL28 (left) are big and shiny and shaped more like M&M candy than the more rounded Bourbon (right).
80 years old Bourbon tree at Los Andes
60 years old SL28 at Los Andes
Producer: Ernesto Menéndez
Location: Apaneca-Ilamatepec Mountain Range, Santa Ana
Picking period: April 2017
Processing: Fully washed
Flavour description: The cup mainly holds creamy and sweet attributes, with a lime juice acidity and a white grape sweetness. A long lasting aftertaste of hibiscus, with a medium to high body.