| Lynsey Harley

Specialty Coffee - Learn more about El Salvador

Coffee was first cultivated in El Salvador in the 19th century, and it its beginnings, it was only for domestic consumption. In the middle of the century, the government encouraged the people by giving tax breaks, exemption from military service for coffee workers, and the elimination of export duties for new producers. By 1880, coffee was an exportable product and was becoming more important to the economy.

Coffee production flourished throughout the 20th century, reaching its peak in the late 1970s. By 1980, coffee was responsible for the 50% of the gross domestic product. The civil war of 1980 affected the production of coffee, and caused widespread decrease in yields and exportation.

After the war, Salvadoran coffee producers started investing on technology in the farms, as well as planting new varieties. This renewed interest in coffee inspired the creation of the Institution of Coffee. All of these important factors helped to develop the coffee industry. Since then, coffee production has grown to once again be an extremely important economic factor in El Salvador.

Brief Overview

Common Varieties: Bourbon, pacas, pacamara, caturra and catuai.

Flavour: Characterised by good body and balanced acidity, an excellent sweetness and rich, penetrating aromas.

Main Growing Regions: Apaneca-Ilamatepec Mountain Range, Chichontepec, Cacahuatique Mountain Range, Tecapa Chichontepec Mountain Range

Elevation: 500 - 1,200 meters

Flowering: Febuary – May

Harvest: October – March

Processing: Majority washed and sun-dried

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