Coffee category: Bright
Process: Carbonic Maceration Natural
What to expect: Carbonic maceration processing of coffee is a relatively new and rare processing method that enhances the fermentation process to create unique flavor profiles. Expect a bright and fruity coffee with notes of raspberry, honey and black tea.
Producer: Diego Baraona
Region: Tecapa Chimaneca
Altitude: 1,300 - 1,600m above sea level
Los Pirineos is located on top of the Tecapa Volcano; a volcanic mountain range in the Department of Usulutan. The name of Los Pirineos was given because of the similarity to the mountains of the Pyrenees in Europe, which separates France and Spain. The farm Los Pirineos also separates two towns, Berlin and Santiago de Maria. The cultivation of the coffee farm started in 1890 according to some accounts of the family, the original typical plants and shade trees called Gravileos were imported from Antigua Guatemala.
The farm has been owned by the family for over 100 years and it has always been cultured under traditional shade. Currently 10% of the plantation belongs to the Typica variety, 83% is Bourbon, 4% Pacas and 3% is Pacamara. Los Pirineos farm is Rainforest Alliance certified, the first farm in El Salvador obtaining this certification. Los Pirineos, has always been recognized by exporters, buyers and national and international cuppers as producing one of the best coffees from the east side of the country.
Los Pirineos uses mechanical de-mucilage techniques and has an incredible amount of African drying beds as well as UV protected drying facilities. They take great care to maintain clean equipment to ensure quality processing from beginning to end.
The mill is built between two mountains which ensures constant wind going from one side to the other and because this corridor goes from east to west. Because of this perfect location maximising airflow for drying the coffee gets 100% of the sunlight of the day. During the 2017/18 harvest for the first time Carbonic Maceration (CM) experimental coffees were produced.
The Carbonic Maceration (CM) process was first introduced to the world by Project Origin founder, Saša Šestić during the 2015 World Barista Championship in Seattle. Since then, Project Origin has researched and developed a range of CM techniques in a variety of countries. In 2017/18 experimental lots from Los Pirineos had very positive results with Gilberto achieving 6th place at the 2018 El Salvador Cup of Excellence with a CM Washed Pacamara lot. Gilberto’s attention to detail and care for perfect drying has played a big role in getting the best out of the CM lots from Los Pirineos.
Coffee cherries are picked perfectly ripe, hand sorted and floated to remove unripe and over-ripe cherries. The Washed CM Selection coffees are then pulped before being placed in temperature and humidity controlled tanks flushed with carbon dioxide (CO2) to remove oxygen from the tank. Natural CM Selection coffees are placed in the tanks still in the cherry.
By controlling the fermentation different kinds of yeast production can be introduced into the tanks and by controlling how they interact with the coffee can give some very exciting results in the final cup. One key yeast that is activated is called sacromises cerevisiae. With the CM process control can be taken of how fast or slow sugars are broken down from the mucilage by the yeast. Depending on which controls are applied it can create unique flavor experiences and enhance different qualities in different lots.