What can one do with specialty coffee in a country where the coffee production has dropped to one fifth of the original amount since 1972? We set out to check it right there.
El Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated of the countries in Central America. It is four times smaller in area than the Czech Republic. The arabica coffee tree has been traditionally grown here since the first half of the 19th century but the production has dropped dramatically in the recent years – coffee rust (coffee disease) is to blame along with unsustainably low farm gate prices for ordinary coffee.
Our coffee partner in El Salvador Rodolfo Ruffatti Battle is a guy who spends half of a year growing and processing coffee on farms and in processing stations and the other half selling it in Europe. We visited Rodolfo and his partners in El Salvador in January 2019. Over a long period, we have been cooperating with Rodolfo’s dad, who owns the Finca El Salvador company. We have repeatedly introduced coffees from Roberto Ulloa from the La Divina Providencia farm, which is located right at the foot of the crater of Santa Ana volcano. We have established a cooperation with Aldo Parducci and his farms Las Brumas and Area 51. We regularly introduce coffees from Chalatenanga, the latest one was La Bendición, for example.
Most of the 20,000 coffee farms can be found in the provinces of Santa Ana, Ahuchapán, Sonsonate and La Libertad. About 135,000 people, which represents one fourth of all farmers, are directly employed in coffee growing and processing. Their common enemy is the coffee rust (“La Roya”), which destroys plants and harvest. Specialty arabica coffees are grown in the mountains at the altitude of 1300 metres above the sea level and higher, most often in the shade and in the fertile volcanic soil.