El Salvador Bourbon Semi-Wash

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Size: 12oz Whole Bean


Coffee Review: 94 Points

Blind Assessment

Complex, sweetly spice-toned. Dark caramel, tea rose, clove, pear, myrrh in aroma and cup. Brightly sweet with malic acidity; plush, syrupy mouthfeel. The crisply sweet finish consolidates to notes of clove and pear.


Produced by the Adolfo family of Finca Colombia, entirely of the Bourbon variety of Arabica, and processed by Mario Valiente by the semi-washed or honey method, in which the skins are removed from the fruit but some of the fruit flesh is allowed to dry on the beans. RamsHead Coffee Roasters is a family-owned company founded by Bozeman, Montana natives Caleb and Laura Walker that specializes in direct trade microlot coffees. For more information, visit www.ramsheadcoffee.com.  

Bottom Line

A spice-toned, semi-washed (honey) El Salvador with deep floral and rich spice notes and an especially syrupy body.

Farm Bio:

The semi-washed process employed by Mario Valiente involves receiving the freshly picked cherries and introducing them into a water tank for several hours. The floated cherries are then moved to the depulper to remove the skin and fruit of the cherry. Once removed, the coffee will go through a demucilager that uses very minimal water to remove most of the mucilage on the parchment. After the coffee has been “semi-washed”, the parchment is intentionally left in a fermentation tank with no water for 8-12 hours before finally making its way to the raised drying beds, where Don Mario slows the speed of drying down to 15-20 days on the beds. 

Finca Colomba has been in the Adolfo family for 3 generations. In 1949, Adolfo McEntee inherited two properties from his family in the Cordillera de Llamatepec, on the slopes of the Santa Ana Volcano. At this time, Don Adolfo began planting Bourbon coffee trees at Finca Colomba and Finca San Francisco. Don Adolfo’s son, José Adolfo MCentee Batlle inherited the farms and continued the legacy before passing down to his son “Fofo”

After having been kidnapped twice during the civil war throughout the country, José Adolfo emigrated to Miami with his son and left the management of the farm to Mario Valiente, owner of Finca Calera. In 2014, Mario Valiente built Colomba’s dry mill so the farm has direct control over every step of the process from farm to export. Great care is taken preparing each coffee for exporting and 10 women, who are heads of their households, oversee the final quality check through manual sorting.

Finca Colomba grows Yellow Caturra, Red Caturra, Sanpacho, Gesha, Pacas, Cuscatleco, Red Bourbon, Pink Bourbon and some Kenyan varieties were recently planted.

The rich volcanic soil and elevations over 1,500 meters above sea level, come together for ideal growing conditions.

Mario Valiente implements multiple processing methods at the wet mill including carbonic macerated and anaerobic fermented naturals, traditional naturals, honey, fully washed, semi-washed and more. Each process is tasted and stored according to the cupping result.

The farm permanently employs 80 people and up to 210 people from nearby towns during the picking season. Aware of the need in the surrounding communities, Finca Colomba supports schools in the area, hosts medical conferences to provide accessible healthcare and distributes toys to children during the Christmas season.

Tasting Notes:

Caramel fragrance, cherry in aroma, flavors of butterscotch, caramel and rose with a smooth aftertaste that leaves a lingering cinnamon note. Mellow orange acidity and a syrupy body all come together to bring a really well balanced cup profile.

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