Gloria Rodrigues & family - Finca Nejapa
Location: Ahuachapán, Santa Ana, El Salvador
Farm Size: 7 hectares
Elevation: 1550 meters above sea level
Varietals: Red Caturra, Yellow Caturra, Elefante
Bought since: 2014
The success of Finca Nejapa, owned by Gloria Rodrigues, is the result of a strong family unit, together with her son-in-law Luis Rodrigues. Their hard work and skills have really paid off in the quality of their product. By working together, they can maintain and potentially improve the working conditions as well as the cup profile.
The farm was inherited by Gloria’s father, José María Rodríguez Herrera in the 50’s, at that time the property was devoted to dairy cows. It was José Maria who started growing coffee of the Bourbon variety. Little by little, he noticed coffee was extremely productive in that area, and that is where the story begins.
Nejapa still farms 7 hectares reforested with cedar trees, approximately 10 years old. The farm also has a diversity of shade trees, which helps maintain and preserve both the soil conditions and a wide variety of birds and small mammals that live in that region. The Finca Nejapa farm is on the slopes of the Laguna de Las Ninfas (Waterlilies Lagoon) with a spectacular sight over the Apaneca-Ilamatepec mountain range. Every year, Gloria establishes nurseries with selected seeds to keep her farm in good shape, balance production, and secure future crops.
On this farm, Gloria and Luis have found a natural mutation of Bourbon that excites all of us a lot, called Elefante. The Elefante coffee cherry is bigger than the other varietals, hence the name, Elefante. It also produces three times more mucilage compared to a Bourbon. The fruit looks much like a Pacamara and the seed (bean) like a Bourbon. In flavour, it is more bright, floral, and delicate.
Tablón Roma, which Drop Coffee is buying everything of, is located on the western side of Finca Nejapa but was left unplanted until 10 years ago when Gloria obtained a loan through a local investment bank to redevelop and replant this area. The variety chosen for this plot was red and yellow Caturra, planting this short-size producing tree with good yields was needed to repay the loan. The variety and terroir combination resulted in great quality coffee as well. This farm was awarded the El Salvador Cup of Excellence in 2008 and 2009 with just this Roma lot and this Caturra varietal.
As a charity project, we did a dinner with WINETRADE and Mathias Dahlgren where all the money went straight to installing electricity and water filters at the Roma lot. Visiting years after this, it is great to see the families living by the plot of the farms improved living conditions.