Maypole, El Salvador/Colombia

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All our coffee is roasted to order, every Tuesday.

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Tasting Notes

Roast Level: Medium
Process: Fully washed/Washed & silo dried
Varietal: Caturra, Typica, Garnica, Colombia
Roaster's Notes: This finely balanced blend makes for an espresso with notes of milk and dark chocolate, hazelnuts and figs with a very creamy mouthfeel.

Farm Info

Producer: Rolando Ramirez Moreno/Echavarria Family
Region: Apaneca-Ilamatepec, Ahuachapán, El Salvador /Antioquia, Colombia
Altitude: 1250 - 1700 metres

Background information - Finca San Jose, El Salvador:

Rolando Ramirez Moreno and his family have long been in the coffee business: he is the third generation to farm coffee in the green hills of El Salvador’s Apaneca-Illamatepec region. In 2005/6, Rolando (operating under the company name of Cayro, S.A. de C.V.) decided to deepen his commitment to El Salvador’s coffee culture even further.

Like so many coffee farms in the region – indeed in El Salvador – Finca San José had been virtually abandoned for many years. Years of coffee price volatility combined with the appearance of coffee leaf rust in the region has made farming coffee a losing proposition in many producers’ eyes. San José was an old farm that had changed hands on many occasions, with very little love being spent despite its ideal location. Rolando, however, saw the farm’s potential! As part of his wider growth plan, he acquired the farm and immediately set about renovating 50 hectares of the farm’s poorly maintained coffee trees. The farm kept its original name – but everything else changed.

Today, the farm is managed with precision and care and with the utmost attention to detail. Integral management is carried out throughout the year with a group of 10 permanent staff and 95 temporary staff. Rolando, of course, oversees all the work. Four annual fertilisations are conducted, always with reference to soil and foliar analysis, always taking care not to over-fertilise and to prevent groundwater contamination.

Environmental stewardship is of the utmost importance to the farm. Coffee at San Jose (as at all Cayro’s farms) is 100% shade grown to preserve wildlife and to help mitigate the effects of global warming. The farm has also recently launched an extensive program of ‘micro-terracing’ in order to prevent soil erosion - a very important step in this steep countryside. Water conservation is also of great concern, and the farm takes steps to preserve local aquifers.

Equally, great care is taken with the harvest. Coffee is selectively hand harvested, with only the ripest cherries being picked. Once enough coffee has been collected, it is delivered to the ‘La Labor’ Wet Mill in San Antonio or Cayro’s own in Ahuachapán – about 30 minutes from the farm. (As a side note, the latter lies only 2 km away from the only geothermic electric plant in El Salvador, which is located in the middle of a bunch of geysers!)

Coffee is always pulped on the same day as it is picked. It is first floated to remove any damaged or underripe cherries. This water is then conserved to be used again. The coffee is then dry pulped and fermented for approximately 15 hours, after which it is fully washed. After it is completely clean of any remaining mucilage, it is moved to be dried on raised beds under shade for around 21 days. The coffee is moved regularly to ensure even drying.

Rolando is passionate about learning and experimentation, which has led Cayro mill to experiment with new processes and practices. As of 2017, the farm is experimenting with extended and anaerobic fermentation. He is also looking at the possibility of establishing a drying greenhouse, so the drying process is more uniform.

Although the farm is already very advanced with regards to agricultural practice, Rolando still has great plans for the future and always maintains an innovative outlook. He plans to renovate 10% of the farm annually, replanting with high quality varietals that are also rust resistant – always looking towards improving the face of El Salvador’s coffee!

Background Information – Loma Verde, Colombia

Café de Santa Barbara is a family-owned company dedicated to the production and export of Colombian estate coffee. The family’s beginnings in the coffee business date from the early 20th century when Don Alejandro Angel (great grandfather to the current generation) became the first major exporter of Colombian coffee. Foreseeing the enormous potential for the Colombian crop, in the times when our country’s coffee did not have the reputation that it holds now, he sought to convince the European and American traders that the distinctive qualities of our Arabica coffee made it worthy of recognition and admiration by the coffee roasters of the world. He succeeded beyond his contemporaries’ imagination, opened new markets and became the largest Colombian coffee exporter of his time.

This legacy greatly inspired Pedro Echavarria (husband to one of Don Alejandro’s great grand-daughters) who ventured into growing coffee three decades ago. Mr. Echavarría understood that the most important step was choosing the region where to grow his coffee. After much deliberation he ended up deciding for Santa Barbara, a small county encroached into the Andean mountains in the state of Antioquia. Other than its picturesque charm, Santa Barbara offered a land with distinctive and crucial qualities, such as microclimates (do to the combination of altitude with warm air from the Cauca river valley), singular volcanic soils, perfect altitude, and a tradition of excellence in the production of coffee. Mr. Echavarria started then with a modest amount of land, but throughout the years he has constantly increased production capacity. By marrying these perfect natural conditions with hard work and efficiency, he quickly grew both the area under cultivation and his farms’ reputation. The Echavarria family began to consolidate the various lands he had purchased over the years during the 1980s.

Today, Santa Barbara Estate is composed of 5 sister farms (including Loma Verde) that lie across three neighbouring, geographical regions: Santa Barbara, Fredonia and Amagá. Loma Verde is the largest of all the farms in the estate. At 75.34 hectares, it accounts for nearly 17% of the Estate’s total production.

In the last five years, Pedro’s son – also Pedro – has become more deeply involved in the workings of the farm, taking the already high quality of the coffee to new heights through experimentation in processing and increased monitoring and control of every stage of production. Pedro Jr. and Santa Barbara’s Coffee Director, Leonardo Henao Triana, manage their wet mill with a blend of art, industrial rigor and scientific curiosity. They are committed to further developing the Estate’s capacity for the highest quality coffee possible and have even brought their offerings to Medellin, Colombia through their flagship coffee shop, Pergamino.

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