Jack and Dismas are on a 10-day coffee buying trip to Central America. These are notes from their journey.
It happened to be the 150th anniversary of the town and there was a huge parade with hundreds and hundreds of horses dancing down the streets. Sidewalks were jammed with people partying. It went on for hours. Late dinner and all to bed.
We woke to a traditional breakfast. Beans, huevos, and tortillas, accompanied by 11 AeroPresses of coffees! Then we were off to Quatro M, the mill where they process wet and dry. Our good friend, Dana Foster, greeted us and we headed to the cupping lab. The first table challenged us and we spent nearly 45 minutes discerning the flavors. The most difficult cupping is when things are all very similar and these coffees all cupped between 84-85.5. Truly amazing. El Salvador has had a very rough year and production is down to 50% of normal. We’re thankful we’ll be buying coffee again here.
The next table proved just as delicious and took another 45 minutes to score. It was 2:00 pm by the time we headed up the mountain to Natamaya. Last year, Zoka raised $1200 and Ladro raised $1800 to support a small isolated community above the farm. With no running water and no electricity, life can be challenging. Mayita and her family have worked generously with the SQ foundation to build a school and medical clinic. Thanks to our generous customers, we have enough money to build a multipurpose soccer field adjacent to the school!
When we arrived, the kids were all came out of school cheering for Mayita! We presented the check to the community leader and another loud cheer made us all a bit teary. A half hour later, we were having a generous lunch of chicken and soup and discussing what we could do next year. Solar lanterns and safety fencing are possibilities, but all decisions will be made by the community.