This is Evans Brothers’s fourth year of working directly with the Menendez family in El Salvador. This year they cupped 42 lots of coffee at the Menendez’s cupping lab, selecting Lot #3 from the beautiful Finca El Rosario as the standout (along with some Pacamara). Miguel Menendez Sr. carries on his family’s coffee farming tradition of four generations, personally overseeing every detail of his award-winning farms and beneficio (coffee mill). A true family business, sons Miguel and Guillermo handle exporting relations directly with Evans Brothers and some of the finest roasters and retailers in the U.S. and Europe.
The Menendezes are blessed with an incredible natural environment, nestled in the Apaneca-Ilamapatec Mountains—an ideal terroir for growing amazing coffee. Their native forest rises to 1900 meters along an extinct volcano that provides heavy bird canopy and wildlife habitat. The family is also unique in owning and operating their own beneficio, which processes strictly Menendez coffees using the most sophisticated systems available.
This is a Rainforest Alliance certified coffee—a certification that goes well beyond simply organic or fair trade to encompass environmental, economic, and social aspects. Pickers for the Menendez’ farms earn the highest wages in the area, and the family pours money into the local economy particularly in the areas of youth programs and education.
Miguel and his sons have been regular winners of El Salvador’s prestigious ‘Cup of Excellence’ competition, beating out thousands of farms on quality only.*
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the El Salvador Menendez Estates Finca El Rosario, from Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters in Sandpoint, Idaho. Feel free to pull up a chair.
origin: Santa Ana, El Salvador
farm: Finca El Rosario
producer: Menendez Family
elevation: 1300 meters above sea level
process: fully washed, patio dried
The aroma of the Finca El Rosario is sweet and, being from El Salvador, is exactly what you’d think it would be before even opening the bag, with scents of cocoa powder, caramel, and red fruits.
The flavor follows the nose. The coffee splashes onto my palate with it’s light-medium body and creamy mouthfeel. There is a slight presence of earthiness, clove, and roasted hazelnut immediately post-brew, but those notes quickly give way to flavors of milk chocolate, caramel, nougat, and pie crust. Between those flavors and the hazelnut nuances, it’s basically like taking a sip of a candy bar. As the coffee cools, its livelier side comes out; juicy cherry, pomegranate, and red grape stream down the center and sides of the tongue as faint wisps of rose hips and citrus blossom flutter through the finish.
As many of my readers might know, I’m currently working my way through a challenge in which I try at least one roaster in every state. I’m down to the last handful of states to cross off my list and got one step closer to the finish line when I bought this bag of El Salvador Finca El Rosario from Idaho’s Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters.
One of the things I most like about El Salvadoran coffees is how mellow they are. More often than not, coffees from this region provide low-key, no frills, no thrills, easy-like-Sunday-morning cupping experiences. And that was definitely true of this coffee from Finca El Rosario. Mellow, subdued, and sweet, with just enough fruit and floral variations to keep the cup interesting, Finca El Rosario is a classic Latin American breakfast coffee.
Nothing fancy, here – just a pleasant cup to start off the day right.
*content courtesy of Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters
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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.