This is the 2018 crop of the coffee Dale Harris used to win the 2017 World Barista Championship in Seoul, South Korea.
Juan Jose Ernesto 'Neto' Menéndez Argüello belongs to the fourth generation of coffee farmers in his family. His father died in 1995. After completing his studies at university, Neto had the opportunity to start working in the coffee industry at J. Hill & Cia, in 2000. He left J. Hill & Cia after five years, and began his second coffee experience at JASAL.
Both companies gave him the opportunity to meet 'Grano de Oro' from another perspective, allowing him to learn the art and passion of cupping. He says those are very important in his life, and that they give him the opportunity to apply his coffee knowledge and experience that he's gained through the years.
During his time in the coffee world, he has participated in various events like the Cup of Excellence (National Jury from 2003 to 2011), Q Auction, Q Grader, and the Star Cupper program organised by SCAA and CQI.
Las Brumas is located between 45 to 60 minutes from Santa Ana city. It has a cultivated area of 60 hectares' worth of coffee yield, all of which is at an altitude ranging from 1,450 to 1,700 m.a.s.l. It produces around 600 bags of coffee each year, and has an area of 35 hectares of virgin mountain at an altitude from 1,700 to 2,000 m.a.s.l.
The farm is located in the Sonsonate department near the area known as San Blas. Las Brumas has very rich volcanic soil, deep and very fertile, which has been generated by different Ilamatepec and Izalco volcanic eruptions throughout its history.
One of the most important elements is the micro climate. It's very misty at the farm for most of the year, and that's why Neto decided to name the farm Finca Las Brumas. This amazing micro climate is generated when the warm air from the Pacific ocean collides with the high peaks of the Volcanoes Park (which comprises of the Santa Ana, Cerro Verde and Izalco volcanoes).
Due to its location between these three famous volcanoes in El Salvador, this unique micro climate reduces the amount of daylight that the coffee trees receive. This helps the coffee trees have a very slow photosynthesis, improving the maturation process, and this in turn improves some attributes that are closely related to maturity, like the aroma, sweetness, acidity and flavour.
This coffee was produced as part of the Las Brumas Wild Coffee Project where Neto is using previously unfarmed forested land for coffee production, but doing so in a thoughtful and careful way so as not to remove any of the flora and fauna, and so that the space remains – primarily – a forest. Instead of clearing the land to give him a blank canvas for a new coffee growing area he's working with the forest to create a unique environment and a unique coffee.
The soil of the forested area had never been used to grow coffee in before and had benefited from years of its own natural fertilisation system due to all the forest floor goodness, and the constant supply of twigs and leaves dropping down to continually enrich the soil.
Growing coffee in this way affected the speed of the coffee's growth (lots of shade) and took 7 years from initial planting to the first harvest, in a normal area of coffee production that would have only been 3 years but the extra cover from the forest makes everything happen at a slower speed. That slowness also applies to the maturation of the coffee cherry too, similar to growing at really high altitudes - it takes its time and does things slowly because of the conditions resulting in a 15% longer maturation than Neto sees on the rest of Las Brumas.
In the cup you’ll get a creamy sweetness up front, with hints of brown sugar. Tangerine takes over next, swinging subtly in to orange peel on the finish.
- Country: El Salvador
- Department: Sonsonate
- Nearest city: Santa Ana
- Farm: Finca Las Brumas
- Farmer: Juan Jose Ernesto 'Neto' Menéndez Argüello
- Altitude: 1,450–1,700 m.a.s.l.
- Variety: SL28
- Processing system: Washed
Cupping notes: Brown sugar, tangerine, orange peel, creamy.
- Clean cup: (1–8): 8
- Sweetness: (1–8): 7.5
- Acidity: (1–8): 6.5
- Mouthfeel: (1–8): 6
- Flavour: (1–8): 6.5
- Aftertaste: (1–8): 6
- Balance: (1–8): 6.5
- Overall: (1–8): 8
Total: (max. 100): 91
Roasting Information: Medium - through first and develop this a bit before dropping just as you approach second crack.
"Quick Look" Guide: Brown sugar, tangerine, orange peel, creamy.