Welp – this is it. Day 5 of our tour of El Salvador. Many, many thanks to the fine folks of Dark Matter Coffee Company for providing us the opportunity to virtually tour El Salvador with them. It’s been a really great experience drinking coffee from these five farms, seeing what the very best of what this region of El Salvador has to offer. Each of the cups we’ve had from the previous four farms tasted wildly different from each other; I’m very eager to see how our coffee from Farm Five – Finca Santa Petrona – tastes, so let’s get down to brass tacks.
Ready to wrap up our adventures in Central America? Feel free to pull up a chair.
Back in 1917, Doña Petrona Palacios de Diaz bought 47 hectares of land on the slopes of the Ilamatepeque Volcano in the Western Part of El Salvador. He was determined, with the support of his son Santiago Diaz Palacios, to transform this property into a coffee farm.
More than 90 years and six generations of coffee growers later, the Pacas family is still working the land under the banner of Finca Santa Petrona. This farm is home to 100% shade-grown Bourbon coffee, maintaining the same principles and passion since its establishment. Respect to the local communities and good harmony with the environment are the two main pillars of the farm and the Pacas family.
Since its foundation in 1917, Finca Santa Petrona has been recognized as a producer of one of the finest coffee in El Salvador, even placing as a finalist in the El Salvador Cup of Excellence. Working hand in hand with the local community and possessing utter respect for the environment supports a sustainable business approach that will permit more than one hundred years more of good coffee production.
Origins: Chalchuapa, Santa Ana, El Salvador
Farms: Finca Santa Petrona
Elevation: 1450-1600 meters above sea level (strictly high-grown)
Process: washed, patio-dried
Certifications: Direct Trade
Of all the coffees we’ve had this week from El Salvador, the aroma from this cup is, by far, the most pleasing. The others have been inviting, interesting, aromatic, etc. – but this one is so pleasant. Heavenly, even. Really nice, velvety hints of cocoa and violet – chocolate and flora.
The aroma, though, doesn’t prepare the consumer for the taste explosion awaiting them in the cup. Like yesterday’s coffee from Finca San Jose, this coffee has an intense rush of fruitiness – strawberry, citrus, pear, lime, Granny Smith apple, and blackberry. It’s crisp and juicy and acidic and has a huge personality. There’s an underbelly of cocoa or milk chocolate, I’m even getting tinges of caramel; but it’s the tart, citric and juicy fruitiness that dominates this cup’s flavor from beginning to end. As the cup cools, the citrus only gets more prominent, bringing out a tart grapefruit acidity.
The cup finishes nicely with a sparkling and zesty herbalness that sends tingles along the palate.
Creamy, velvety mouthfeel; tart grapefruit acidity; dry, lingering, zesty, limy finish.
the bottom line:
Finca Santa Petrona was one unique cup of coffee – of all the coffees we cupped this week, this one was certainly the most adventurous. Each of the three stages of this coffee – aroma, flavor, and aftertaste – were all so unique and separate from each other. Just when you think you get a handle of this coffee’s personality, it shifts and surprises your taste buds again and again.
So, there you have it. Pack your bags, get your passports and travel documents in order – it’s time to leave this wonderful highland region of El Salvador and head back to real life. I hope you enjoyed these exclusive looks at the five farms that Dark Matter Coffee Company visited on their recent trip to El Salvador – I know I had a blast cupping with all of you.
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.