El Salvador, Feb 21st, 2023

Luis Rodriguez circa 2018

(Luis Rodriguez circa 2018)

Rodrigo picks me up from my hotel is San Salvador, and we make the 2 hour drive to Santa Ana. Today, we are visiting El Borbollón, the mill that processes the coffee of Finca Malacara. We are greeted by Luis Rodriguez. It’s always good to see Luis. He’s a coffee tasting genius, head judge for the Cup of Excellence, and runs the cupping lab at Borbollon. He’s always a joy to talk to. He makes us a French press while we wait for Eduardo Alvarez Jr, who owns the mill with his Father who has retired since my last visit.

coffee dries on the patio of El Borbollón

(Coffee dries on the patio at El Borbollón)

This morning, Eduardo is taking us to one of his family farms, Finca La Reforma. La Reforma sits on 45 acres at the base of the Santa Ana Volcano. It’s a beautiful farm that grows many delicious varieties of coffee. SL-28 and Geisha, to name a few. Eduardo Jr. always speaks with charisma and excitement for the projects of El Borbollon. They are currently working on a really cool community buying project that guarantees smallholders a sustainable price for their coffee. We hope to partner with Eduardo in this effort. 

SL-28 Coffee Variety on La Reforma

(SL-28 coffee variety at Finca La Reforma)

After a morning on the farm, we head back to El Borbollon to cup this years harvest from Malacara, La Reforma, Santa Cypress, Santa Maria, Monte Carmel, and El Guaje. The Red, Yellow, and Orange Bourbon from Malacara are delicious as to be expected. I’m especially surprised by the complexity of the Reb Bourbon from Monte Carmel; flavors of black current, tropical fruit, milk chocolate. The Pacamara from Finca El Guaje also hits hard with tropical fruit, and a honey sweetness. We are planning to add a few more farms this year to our portfolio, and making the decision on which ones won’t be easy. Everything at El Borbollon is delicious.

(Jonathan, left - Luis, right - Eduardo Jr., right)

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