This week, our roaster’s choice subscribers got the first taste of our new Finca Nombre de Dios offering this week. And it will be up on the web for purchase this weekend (hopefully).
I often get people asking me what my favorite coffee is. That answer generally depends on my mood or the weather or any combination of a variety of environmental factors. So I try to explain, through cliché, that I love all of my coffees, and then I’ll tell them which one suits my fancy at that particular moment. But go ahead and ask me now and I’ll give you more definitive answer…
Finca Nombre de Dios – Matapan, El Salvador. We have 3 direct trade micro-lots of coffee from this farm. The current lot, ‘Arenal’, is harvested from one of the highest altitude portions of the farm which is known for it’s sandy loam soil (hence ‘Arenal’) There is a myriad of reasons why this coffee is my current favorite. Let me start with the most translatable aspect to our customers… the cup.
The cup is a shining example of a really high grown El Salvador Bourbon-varietal profile. It’s under-toned with milk chocolate and caramel sweetness, and carries a subtle but very present tangerine note that makes for beautifully creamy and balanced cup. In addition, they are consistent Cup of Excellence winners, placing 11th this year. There is so much that we look for in our Direct Trade relationships but if they don’t produce a really high quality coffee then it won’t work for our business model. This coffee works.
The second reason this is my favorite coffee is because it is the fruits of my labor. I put a lot of work into researching, contacting, cupping samples and communicating with producers from El Salvador to find someone with fantastic coffee that was willing to work directly with a ‘little guy’. Nombre de Dios stood out in this process. Then in February I took a trip to El Salvador to stay at the farm, cup various lots of coffee and tour its operations. Transportation for the coffee was a struggle and waiting game as I tried to get the imported into the US. It arrived 4 months later than I had hoped for, but it’s here now!
The third reason is the farm itself. It’s a picturesque farm, high up in the Metapan Mountains about 2 hours north of Santa Ana. The coffee trees are beautiful, running underneath plenty of shade trees (a lot of oak and pine) so that it gives you more of the impression a forest than a farm.
Most of the workers live on the farm and are provided arable land, healthcare and schooling. They don’t own an organic certification but most of their farming practices are organic methods; they use pulp compost and chicken manure (which they purchase from the workers who live on the farm) for fertilizers.
The fourth reason this is my current favorite coffee is the history of the farm. I love stories and I love history and this farm has plenty of both. The name Finca Nombre de Dios got it’s name when Maria’s great grandfather originally planted the farm. They didn’t know if the delicate coffee plants would take to the soil, so each time they planted a tree they dedicated it to God in hopes that He would bless their labor. They would say “in the name of God” with each tree that they planted which in Spanish is ‘Nombre de Dios’.
While on the farm, we stayed in a log cabin that was built by Maria’s grandfather and it was filled with family photos of all the generations of farmers of Nombre de Dios that served to document the history. It was really a special experience for me.
The foremost reason that this is my favorite coffee right now is Maria Botto and her son Javier. It has really been a pleasure to develop a relationship with them and to be able to showcase their coffee here in Dallas. If you missed it, in May we had our first FRBY event with Maria and Javier, and my family got to return a favor and host them in our house. They came to the Crooked Tree Coffehouse and shared with some our customers stories about their farm and the coffee harvesting process.
It was really a unique experience to be able to bring a coffee producer into Dallas and connect them with the people who get to experience and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Anyone who knows me personally, knows that I value being connected with the farmers who supply my food, so it was great for me to be able to connect people one of their coffee farmers.
I hope that you’ll take the chance to experience this coffee and I hope that you find it as excellent as I do!