San Joaquin is a farm that has been operated by the Pacas family since 1905. The 31 hectare farm sits 1,700 meters above sea level at the Ayeco Mount located in Cantón Buenos Aires, Municipio de Chalchuapa in the Santa Ana region. Filled with Pacamara, Pacas, Bourbon, and Mokka varietals, the hilly landscape of this farm has sandy loam soil and filtered sunlight. Known as “The Farm of the Morning Sun,” Finca San Joaquin only receives sunlight before noon due to its orientation, making the maturation period of the cherry slower than usual. This slow ripening often results in better sugar development and sweeter cups of coffee! Surrounding the coffee farm is a conserved and protected 10 hectare cyprus forest which is the home of many endangered mammals, birds, and reptiles.
After careful hand-picking, any underripe, dry, or green cherries are removed before being transported to one of the Pacas family processing mills – Benficio Vivagua. Cherry is immediately spread out on patios in a thin layer for drying. Around day 3 of drying, they rake the cherry into a slightly thicker layer to allow the cherries to dry more slowly. These layers are moved 5-8 times a day, every day, and are covered with jute bags at night to protect it from dew and unexpected rain. The coffee stays on the patios for 10-15 days or until humidity reaches 12%. The moisture content is measured daily to ensure the cherry does not dry out too slowly or too quickly. Once the coffee reaches 12%, it’s stored in jute bags before being milled and ultimately exported.
The Pacas family has been an integral part of the specialty coffee industry, having not only produced top lots in El Salvador Cup of Excellence competitions for years, but also due to their discovery of a new genetic varietal, eponymously named Pacas! This variety is found in the Bourbon lineage and has a single-gene mutation that causes the plant to grow in a more compact (“dwarfed”) manner, making it easier for cherry picking during harvest.
While we’ve been purchasing coffee from the Pacas family since 2011, we have never offered this specific coffee before! This naturally processed Bourbon has a creamy body with intense notes of brownie, red wine, cherry, and nougat. We are proud to continue our partnership with Cafe Pacas.