Most of the best attributes of this coffee come through strongest in the medium to dark roast range. Many of the notes may seem similar to our Brazilian coffee offerings which makes this a great option for replacing a Brazilian coffee or pairing in a blend.
Farms are located on the mountain at an altitude range of 1,000 to 1,650 meters above sea level. These farms belong to a group of independent producers who are clients of Exportadora San Vicente. Their relationships with Exportadora San Vicente span more than 25 years. About 70% are small producers with production areas of 4.4 hectares on average. These farmers are dedicated to upholding their coffee-producing traditions, instilled by their parents and grandparents. Most producers are 3rd or even 4th generation coffee producers.
The majority of the farms themselves are relatively young, with an average age of 5 to 10 years. This youth is due to the fact that enormous plant renovation had to occur in the wake of an intense attack of coffee leaf rust (CLR) in 2011 that killed most coffee trees in the region and in much of the rest of the country. The subsequent renovations were carried out with a focus on coffee varieties resistant to rust. Now the predominant varieties on producing farms are: Ihcafe 90, Lempira, Pacas and Catuai, and in a lower percentage, varieties such as Parainema, San Ramon and Bourbon.
Most coffee is processed in the traditional way on family farms. Ripe, red cherry is selectively handpicked by farm owners and seasonal laborers. Cherry is inspected and pulped the same day it is harvested. Once pulped, parchment and remaining mucilage is typically placed on concrete patios to ferment for 10 to 16 hours. Some producers may ferment coffee in buckets or bags. Parchment is then washed in clean water and brought to Exportadora San Vicente collection centers. At the centers, parchment is dried in Guardiola mechanical driers.
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Between the national park and the lake, more than 50% of the country's bird species, 90 types of orchids, 70 species of ferns and a great diversity of wild animals live in the region. In addition, the Santa Barbara Mountain provides water to more than 80 communities.