Our El Rubi Honey is back with a sweet news from Coffee Review! We recently sent our new crop for assessment and here's what they have to say:
Blind Assessment: Subtly extravagant. Rich night flowers, crisp cocoa, hints of tangerine and fir in aroma and cup. Quiet acidity; syrupy mouthfeel. Rich, flavor-saturated finish turns slightly heavy in the long.
Notes: This coffee was entirely produced from trees of the heirloom Bourbon variety of Arabica and was processed using the honey method, which means that the outer skin is removed as it is in the wet process, but all or some of the sticky fruit residue is allowed to dry on the bean and later removed by machine along with the parchment skin. This coffee is Rainforest Alliance certified, meaning it was produced following sustainable ecological and socio-economic criteria developed by the Sustainable Agricultural Network, a coalition of independent, environment-focused non-governmental organizations.
Finca Las Mercedes is comprised of several distinct parts of the farm called tablons (or micro lots), each with a different terroir, varietal, micro climates and taste profile. Besides Pepinal 1 winning 1st place in the Cup of Excellence, and where our very own Heather Perry was surprised by her husband’s proposal, my other favorite tablon is El Rubi. I love this tablon because the Bourbon varietal which grows there has a sweet and juicy red fruit flavor. For fun, we experimented with this as an SO (Single Origin) Espresso and loved it so much, we are featuring it this month.
Las Mercedes and the Ortiz family is one of our long term direct trade partners. 2 cents per pound of coffee purchased goes to our direct trade community fund which has provided a medical clinic along with Doctors, Nurses; all free of charge. Plus, uniforms, shoes and sports accessories are provided for sports activities, creating teamwork and a sense of unity within the community.
Mr. Adrian Ortiz, a Spanish immigrant married Miss Mercedes Rivera and settled down in Santiago de Maria, In the Usulután department of El Salvador. They started growing coffee in Las Mercedes the year of 1886. Mr. Adrian passed away in 1898 and until 1941 the farm was managed by Mrs. Mercedes Rivera de Ortiz.
In 1941, Mrs. Mercedes passes away, and the Farm is handed over to Mr. Adrian Ortiz Jr. until his death in 1976. Then it was passed to Mr. Roberto Ortiz and Family, who run the farm up to this day.
In the following years, the wet mill and the water tanks were rebuilt and a continuing expansion of the infrastructure of the farm was undertaken. A bigger tank called "EL BIG" was built, as well as new clay patios and new ceramic tile ditches. New roads were built for better access to the different parts of the farm. A certification process of the farm was made, and nowadays we have the Rainforest Alliance certification not only for the farm but also for the mill.
Las Mercedes represents the maximum expression of a great coffee that has always been cared with dedication and perseverance for four generations in the Ortiz family. Only mature cherries with perfect ripeness are allowed. The cherries are subjected to screening before de-pulping to eliminate twigs, leaves and other foreign material; also to separate the floaters from the bulk.