The Finca Matalapa Story

Certain things are in the air that let you know that summer is on the way. The first flowering of the dogwoods. The return of love bugs to Florida roads. And, finally, the first new-crop coffees from Central America. We've loved our coffees from Central Africa and South America this winter, but it's time for the crisp acidity and big body of the best Central American coffees. The first out of the gate this year: El Salvador's Finca Matalapa. Once again, the Matalapa farm has delivered a series of "microlot-esque" coffees. Each named lot from Matalapa comes from a different section of the farm-- different sections of the mountain, different mixes of varieties of tree, different harvest times. Thanks to our relationship with both Ecco Caffe and Intelligentsia, we are able to offer each of these small lots on our menu. It's a unique opportunity to explore how different coffees from even the same farm can be, how much "terroir" impacts what brews in the cup

Here's what Intelligentsia's green coffee buyer has to say about Matalapa:

Matalapa is a farm that has always held a bit of a fascination for me. Located in the La Cumbre mountain ranges just south of the capital, it enjoys a distinctly different climate than the more well-known coffee region of Santa Ana. The farm faces the Pacific Ocean and receives a good deal of moisture and occasionally powerful winds that surely influence the character of the coffee. Its name comes from the Nahuat language (of Aztec origin, still spoken in El Salvador and Central Mexico) and could be loosely translated as "land where rivers are born." A trip to the farm makes it clear where this name came from: there are twenty-one fresh water springs on the land that feed into the El Zote River.

The farm was originally planted in 1913 by Doña Fidelia Lima. Today it is owned and operated by her great-granddaughter, Victoria Dalton-Diaz. It is a place of great beauty, lush with vegetation and more than forty species of shade trees bordered by tropical forest that is home to a variety of flora, fauna, and birds.

Nearby, just outside of the town of Jayaque, is a wet mill called Beneficio El Paraiso, which was constructed by Doña Fidelia in the early 1900's. It is here that all of the coffees from Matalapa are de-pulped, fermented, washed, and dried. El Paraiso exudes history and tradition and the original milling equipment is still there, powered by a steam engine with belt-driven gears. The boiler is heated with coffee seed parchment and prunings from the coffee trees, conserving energy by dramatically reducing the need for other fuels.

Throughout the month of May, we're offering the following coffees from Matalapa:

  • Puerta Zapa (bourbon, pacas varieties, 1350m, roasted by Intelligentsia)
  • Caracol Peaberry (bourbon, pacas peaberry varieties, 1350m, roasted by Ecco Caffe)
  • Cidra Naranjo Roblar (bourbon, pacas varieties, 1350m, roasted by Ecco Caffe)
  • El Pino (bourbon, pacas varieties, 1350m, roasted by Intelligentsia)