• Holiday Coffee: The Beancracker •
• Holiday Coffee: The Beancracker •
This holiday coffee is a holiday wish - a naturally cinnamon +coffee bean infusion that brings your cup all of the cheer. This coffee infusion is from El Salvador and bring us flavor notes of dark chocolate, cinnamon, clove, and spice. NOTE: THIS IS A LIMITED-EDITION COFFEE THAT IS LIKELY TO SELL OUT.
Bean Variety: Maragogype
Processing Method: Natural
Elevation: 1460–2000 meters above sea level
Country: El Salvador
Region: Tomme, Guji Zone, Oromia Region
Farm name: Finca Los Naranjo
Producer: Sigfriedo Corado Marquez
Soil Type: Volcanic
Screen Size: 15+
- Bean Variety: Maragogype
- Los Naranjos was founded by good friends and coffee professionals Sigfredo Corado Marquez, David Velásquez Gómez, and Manuel Olivares. Sigfredo is our main contact at Los Naranjos and he is an incredibly compassionate individual that exudes kindness.
Sigfredo grew up in and around coffee, with an agronomist father and brothers in the industry as well. For the last 15 years Sigfredo and business partner David have been working on their own coffee farms, Finca El Fabiola and Finca El Zapote. In 2011 they invested in a larger farm named Los Naranjos. They claim that this is when coffee farming went from a hobby status to a full-on business endeavour.
It’s clear that Sigfredo and David have always seen the positive impact that coffee farming can have on local communities. Even their “hobby” farms stimulated the local economy, but the acquisition of Los Naranjos gave them greater opportunities to support and uplift their community.
After years of growth and learning, the team decided to mill and export their own coffee, while previously outsourcing for post-harvest needs. When we visited in January, we saw a brand new wet milling facility at Los Naranjos. It is a gorgeous sight. The organization and cleanliness was inspiring and the milling team was very kind in showing us around. After coffees are depulped and washed, the discarded cherries and liquid went through an extensive treatment process in order to avoid contaminating the local water supply.
Not only that, but the byproducts are recycled as organic fertilizers for use on the collection of farms. It’s amazing that when done carefully and purposefully, coffee cultivation can be a regenerative cycle that not only maintains but improves environmental health. That helps us into our next part of the story, the creation of the RENACER farm manager school.
RENACER FARM MANAGER SCHOOL
Founded by Los Naranjos Cafe and Raices Ahuachapan and led by Sigfredo, RENACER farm school seeks to share sustainable coffee cultivation methods with small and medium producers in El Salvador.
At the Los Naranjos farm Noruega, RENACER welcomes producers and farm managers from the surrounding communities to learn about sustainable techniques. One of the goals is to help uplift the quality of coffee produced by these smallholder producers.
Simply put, higher quality coffee has the ability to fetch higher prices in the market. Another goal is to help them export their coffee after all of the hard work and investment that must take place to achieve those improvements. It is difficult for smaller producers to invest extra energy or money towards quality improvements when there is no guarantee of higher pay-outs in the end. The coffee may be higher quality, but without secured buyers, it may become less economically viable to implement new and improved cultivation practices.
One of the lessons we saw being implemented at Finca Noruega involved diversifying agricultural output. Edible cover crops were planted between rows of coffee trees in order to maintain moisture in the soil while also providing an additional food product for farmers. Biodiversity is one thing that sets specialty coffee production apart from more conventional operations.
Different plant species can work together beautifully and improve soil health exponentially. Sadly we’ve seen the reverse trend with conventional farming. In fact, before coffee cultivation began in El Salvador, the land was much more biodiverse and productive. In his book “Coffee Land”, Augustine Sedgewick shows evidence that early coffee producers in El Salvador (mainly foreigners looking to gain profits in an “untapped” land) purposefully eradicated edible food crops on their coffee farms in order to remove free food sources. If indiginous populations were able to feed themselves off the land without working, who would work the land? That was the plantation owner predicament and a catalyst for environmental catastrophe.
Another lesson we saw at RENACER farm school was reviving old unproductive coffee trees with special pruning methods. This can be a wonderful option for producers that need to restore a section of their farms without going through the full and arduous process of replanting. It takes new coffee trees 3 years at a minimum to become productive enough for a solid harvest. Pruning old trees can increase productivity in a shorter amount of time and is an ideal choice for some farmers.
Our visit with Los Naranjos and the RENACER farm school was brief but oh so inspiring! It is quite obvious that RENACER is on a mission to uplift the community and help everyone grow together. Pun intended. We’ve met a few coffee producers over the years, and none have been as dedicated to their communities as Sigfredo and Los Naranjos Cafe. The team is showing serious efforts towards improving the lives of their neighbors.
Finca Los Angeles was acquired by the Los Naranjos team in 2017. Old unproductive coffee trees were cleared and the new thorough approach to coffee cultivation ensued. They decided to plant the entire farm with one variety: Pacamara. It’s important to understand that the Pacamara variety is very susceptible to coffee leaf rust (“roya”).
What the Los Naranjos Cafe team set out to do was resist the threat of rust by using their years of combined experience and observation. By creating a diverse ecosystem that played on the natural harmony between different plant species, the Los Naranjos team was able to combat roya effectively and grow healthy Pacamara trees throughout Finca Los Angeles.
Not only that, but a short 3 years after replanting and restructuring the farm, Finca Los Angeles placed 5th in the El Salvador Cup Of Excellence. We’ve never heard of such a fast turn-around and immediate result.
Cup Of Excellence coffees go through a series of rigorous evaluations rated by an expert panel of international cuppers. It’s not a light accomplishment to have such a great result. It’s clear that the experience and organization of the Los Naranjos team led to amazing results at Finca Los Angeles.
Note: Like you, we want your coffee experience to be totally satisfying. Give us your feedback (good | bad | great) through our contact page or emailing us here. If you are not happy with your choice we can always change it.