ORIGINS OF OUR DARK BLEND
El Salvador, Malacara: The farm dates back to 1888 when the family Alvarez Lalinde inherited the land and Don Rafael Alvarez Lalinde began planting coffee, eventually turning Malacara into one the best coffee farms of its time. In 1920 Finca Malacara became the center of operations for the farms of the Alvarez Family in the Santa Ana Volcano and the site chosen to build the family´s main house. Eventually three grandchildren of Don Rafael (Samuel, Emma and Arturo Alvarez Meza) inherited Finca Malacara, which is the reason the property is currently divided into three lots: A, B and C. Since 2005 José Guillermo (Epe) and María de Los Angeles Alvarez Prunera (fourth generation) own and manage “Finca Malacara Lot A”, dedicating themselves to the production and marketing of high quality specialty coffee.
Honduras, Cabanas: Proyecto Cabañas is a central processing project that currently services 65 small farms across the Cabañas community. It is a remote area in the complex ridgelines along the Honduras-El Salvador border, due south of Marcala city. Participating farms average only 2.5 hectares apiece and are managed by immediate family. The processing project was first established in 2012. Farms across the region were struggling to survive after a roya (coffee leaf rust) outbreak devastated the predominant coffee cultivars in production—cultivars like typica and pacas, both excellent in the cup but highly susceptible to illness. Many of the farms had only recently been established, as coffee in Cabañas was not typically cultivated until the year 2000 when landowners saw the potential of planting it. The newer, state-sponsored hybrids farmers planted to replace their loss, such as Lempira and Ihcafe-90. San Vicente, a miller, exporter, and marketing group based in Honduras’ Santa Bárbara department, was first introduced to farmers in Cabañas by one of their producers, Alex Ponce, who has family in the region. The project began with only 3 producers, a single pulping machine, and 3 raised beds on a rented plot of land. Now, 10 years later, the group is much larger and the project is producing a wide variety of processing styles. And Alex Ponce is still the general manager of the project. This particular lot is fully-washed. Coffee cherries are received daily from participating farmers, are de-pulped and de-mucilaged via water friction, and moved straight to raised beds to dry. The drying parchment is stirred every 30 minutes during the day for about 2 weeks, and continuously sorted to remove all visible defects. At the station all day lots are kept separate for quality purposes.