Sounds strange but I truly believe that El Salvador is the new Brazil. Why? Well around 8 years ago Brazil got together and decided that they needed to raise standards and also tell the world they had done so. No Specialty association has done a better job of putting its coffee on the map than Brazil. That was until El Salvador.
Brazils job was a little easier, think of coffee think of Brazil, and the huge machine that is the BSCA has a lot of backing from its farmers. For El Salvador its had to be a different approach. The foundations have always been there, with nearly 70% of varitals are Bourbon, the low yielding high quality and normally superior coffee on the cupping table. A coffee assostiation that goes about its business making friends without making too much noise, letting the coffee do the shouting for them.
This has been brought to the front this weekend with the feast of El Salvador coffees I’ve been enjoying. First we have added New Crop La Fany around a month six weeks ago. At first this coffee frightened me as it was very green and not the caramel overload of last year. But as time has gone on it calmed and is now even better than last year. Just last week we were pleased to see our cup of excellence coffee arrival of finca Las Victorias, with its creamy blackcurrant acidity balanced with sweetness. We have been a supporter of the El Salvador cup of for the past two years, last year being part of the buying group for the number one lot, and this year number 19, where we shared the lot with our friends Ballies in Northern Ireland.
We also have has a coffee called El Borbollon 100% Bourbon , which we think we will be offering very soon, which we roasted for a wholesale customer, and another which we liked but were starting to get worried we may have one or two too many.
You see it’s difficult to say no to these coffees and we have the same problem with Brazils. Last year at one point we had ten Brazils on our range. So now you can see why I’m thinking it’s the new Brazil.
In the cup it just yells to me espresso single origin or for sure espresso blend component. All the ones cupped this year can bring uniqueness to the blend party, components I find hard to find anywhere else. One fruit, one caramel, one sweetness, one blackcurrant just so many options.
It hasn’t been lost with the El Salvador coffee association that espresso is the sexy end of coffee. Espresso sells and builds a brand in a far more attractive way than drip or filter coffee. Bourbon is well suited to espresso (mass generalisation I know but is), but the regions profile is more and more becoming an interesting espresso component. And quietly in the background the association works on this. They invited the UK barista champion to El Salvador when they found out he used San Roberto and La Fany in his blend, for promotion but also to find out why and how they could use this. At the SCAA (Specialty coffee association of America) show this year the Salvadorian association was telling everyone that would listen that James (UK Barista) used their coffee in his blend.
So when the revolution comes don’t say you were not warned. El Salvador is the next big thing in espresso, and I say I can’t wait, it’s in good hands.