A diverse range of processing techniques from just one region, sourced through our long term partnership that differentiates our portfolio.

We source specialty coffee from El Salvador because of our long-established, trusted partnerships in the origin. We started buying from there in 2012, but have had a relationship with our suppliers for more than two decades. As processing methods from El Salvador differ from other origins, we are able to source a diverse range of washed profiles, as well as honeys, naturals and experimental preps.

Harvesting season

December – March

Arrival times

April – June

Quantities

Varies from 5 – 50 bag lots, average is 20 bag lots

Packaging

69 kg grain pro bags

Cultivars

Bourbon, Catuai, Pacamara, & some rare excotic cultivars

Processes

Fully washed, soaked, double-soaked, honeys, naturals, and extended-fermentation.

Flavour profiles

Red berries, plum, stone fruit, florals, dried fruits, cocoa, & hazelnuts

Usage

Widely used for filters, as single origin espresso & in espresso blends.

Shelf life

Normally holds up well for 9 months to a year. We can never guarantee more than 6 months after arrival for any coffees.

Sourcing

El Salvador produces a range of quality, all-round coffees under a climate ideal for coffee production — especially for drying naturals and honeys. However, the washed profiles of this origin are also unique, as they are frequently soaked and double-soaked throughout their processing.

We source coffees directly from producers in two regions: Santa Ana and Usulutan. Our focus has been on forming personal relationships with the producers we work with. We mainly buy washed coffees of the Bourbon cultivar, as well as honeys, naturals, and experimental preps.

When we initially started working in this origin, we had a lot of room to gradually build the flavour profiles most interesting to us. We established certain processing protocols that were very different from the norms of the origin. Today, our supply has evolved into a stable and consistent array of products.

We work with one specific supplier, The Jasal Group, owned by the Salaverria family, 6th-generation coffee producers. The Jasal Group works with 5+ distinct processing methods, allowing us to source a very diverse range of flavour profiles from just one region.

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Harvest & Post-Harvest

A step-by-step overview

Quality

El Salvador offers a variety of well-received coffees, benefitting from an excellent climate for coffee production, especially in drying naturals and honeys. Collaborating closely with our partners, we can procure a diverse selection of flavour profiles from just one region.

Producers in El Salvador uphold impressive picking standards, meticulously selecting the ripest and most uniform cherries. Maturation is consistently even, with careful attention to allowing cherries to fully ripen before harvesting. Highly trained workers, hired locally, maintain strict quality control during selection and hand sorting. Producers prioritise fair wages to foster loyalty and quality among their workforce, complemented by managers overseeing the picking and sorting processes.

Through extensive dialogue and trials, we actively explore ways to enhance drying times. Techniques like layering and covering parchment midway through the process, allowing for rest and achieving more uniform drying, contribute to improved ageing and cup profiles.

Our partners also have their own mill, Las Cruces, giving them full control over the entire production process – from harvesting to processing to milling.

Transparency

At the beginning of each season, we engage in thorough discussions with our suppliers to outline our buying requirements. They then produce coffees tailored to our specifications. Open communication is key: our suppliers transparently share their production costs, taking into account factors such as inflation. We understand that achieving higher volumes can reduce per-unit costs, benefiting both parties. Based on these discussions, we contract coffees within a mutually agreed product range and price framework, ensuring that we can always replace any product that doesn't meet our quality standards.

Our commitment to transparency extends beyond the initial agreement. We maintain open discussions with our suppliers year after year, adjusting our volumes and approach based on sales performance and cost structures. If certain coffees face high production costs, making them difficult to sell, we revisit these challenges collaboratively. By building market expectations for the specific coffees we work with, we educate our customers on the value of these products, aligning prices with production costs. This approach ensures a fair and sustainable relationship with our suppliers while consistently delivering high-quality coffees to our customers.

Impact

By fostering ongoing relationships and committing to these distinctive coffees, the Jasal Group, owned by the Salaverria family, directly influences the communities involved in the production process. Bonuses based on coffee performance and premiums are distributed to farm managers, reinforcing loyalty and dedication. The family prioritises a stable workforce by offering permanent employment to a significant number of staff members, with 50 to 60 workers residing on their farms.

Competitive salaries and efficient work systems are implemented for pickers, promoting good environmental practices. Worker well-being and safety are paramount, demonstrated through healthcare benefits and support for local clinics. The Salaverria family actively engages in community development, contributing to education and infrastructure initiatives.

About the origin

El Salvadorean specialty coffee is grown in ideal climatic conditions, in mountainous regions with nutrient-rich volcanic soil. Coffee farms benefit from the abundance of forest vegetation and dark shade, as well as high-altitudes.

Despite its once-powerful status as the fourth-largest coffee sector globally in the 1970s, El Salvador's coffee output has faced challenges in recent years. Modernization efforts in the 1950s propelled its success, but various incidents across the country contributed to the decline of production. A 20-year civil war (from the 1970s - 1992), long-term impacts on land policies, farm abandonment, and later Covid-19, are all challenges faced in the internal coffee industry. 

Despite these setbacks, innovative producers within El Salvador, such as the Salaverria family, are navigating new pathways to revitalise the coffee sector and create opportunities for El Salvadoreans. The specialty coffee market, with its emphasis on quality and unique profiles, holds the potential to not only revive the industry but also empower the workforce. As the country faces these challenges, the resilience and innovation of its coffee producers become integral to reshaping the narrative of El Salvador's coffee industry on the global stage.

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Contact us

Want to know more? Talk with our experts.

Morten Wennersgaard
Co-CEO & Co-Founder
Joanne Berry
Head of Sourcing & Procurement
Josh Coleman
Lab Quality Control

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