May saw us collaborate with Altezano Brothers for month of firsts. Our first feature from El Salvador and given the personal connection this coffee had for the brothers, it was fitting thatwe have them write the accompanying back story, another first for us
During May we explored:
Altezano Brothers is a family owned business in its 20th year. We source, import, roast, and distribute Specialty coffees throughout New Zealand. Because we were born and raised in Central America, we particularly enjoy showcasing Specialty coffees from this region. For this collaboration with The Snobby Collective we selected a favourite of ours from El Salvador. This coffee is purchased by Altezano Brothers directly from the Estate, roasted here, and then shipped to you, which is as direct as it can be.
El Salvador is a beautiful but small Central American country (about the size of Canterbury) with a population of over 6 million. Unfortunately, it is often associated with its civil war, violent gangs and drug trade; but it is also a country of beautiful beaches, rainforests, volcanic landscapes, wonderful people and delicious food. And great coffee! Over the last few years, El Salvador’s coffee industry has been slowly recovering from ‘La Roya’ – a devastating leaf rust that has decimated its coffee production. The economic impact of this saw Altezano Brothers increase our commitment to purchasing Salvadoran coffee, buying more varietals and processing methods from more farms than we have in the past.
Finca El Carmen is in the West of El Salvador near the town of Ataco. Ataco is located on La Ruta de Las Flores (The Flower Route), a very picturesque drive through volcanic territory from San Salvador towards Santa Ana. Concepcion de Ataco (its full name) is a cobble-stoned town with bright murals painted on colonial buildings near geothermal hot springs. Finca El Carmen has been in the same family for four Generations and currently Fernando Alfaro is at the helm. We’ve purchased a lot of coffee from many farms in El Salvador, and El Carmen is a stand out. His leadership and expertise means this Specialty Estate is exceptionally well run. The Red Bourbon cherries in this coffee are harvested separately and completely by hand. The natural fermentation accentuates body and sweetness, which produces a fantastic result with El Salvador’s typically bright coffees. It is a favourite of ours and one of the ways we enjoy it is as a cold brew – ours is made exclusively with this coffee.