Finca La Cumbre
Cordillera of Apaneca, lamatepec, El Salvador
Our days on the estate – bringing natural coffee back to El Salvador
Emilio Lopez, who in those days had been a young boy, picked me up at my hotel in San Salvador and took me to visit his estates, which he has recently started to take care of himself.
Emilio is a young but very intelligent man with a great passion for his work. After visiting his estate, I took the liberty of suggesting that he reintroduce the production of natural coffee, a method that used to be popular here in El Salvador but which unfortunately had been completely abandoned. After an initial hesitation, I managed to convince Emilio and we began this wonderful journey together.
Prunella Meschini recalls: “When I first visited the La Cumbre finca I was struck and fascinated by Emilio’s varietal garden – a sort of little coffee paradise in which you could find every experimental variety of the moment. It was, in fact, a real field of study!”
In the shadow of the Santa Ana volcano, a coffee with exceptional hints of fruit
Where does the coffee we have selected come from?
In the Ilamatepec department, not far from the Volcàn de Santa Ana (called Ilamatepec by the natives), Emilio Lopez and his staff of specialists run this small estate.
La Cumbre was born from the separation of the highest area of the famous Finca El Manzano (indeed la cumbre means the peak, the summit). The La Cumbre coffee is grown between 1500 and 1600 m asl, approximately 200 m higher then El Manzano. Compared to the already stunning quality of the lower estate’s coffee, it has a far more marked fruity scent and obtained a higher grade in the cupping!
How is this coffee produced
Emilio is the seventh generation of a historic coffee family. Since 2001, when he started to run the business, whilst valuing tradition, he decided he would be lead by innovation.
It was in those years, during one of his trips, that Enrico Meschini met Emilio. Despite his young age Emilio was still attached to the idea of producing washed coffee, like they did, after all, in the rest of El Salvador, so Enrico suggested that he restored the ancient tradition of the natural Salvadoran coffees. Emilio didn’t think it twice and today his coffee is mainly natural…. We like to think we are accomplices to his success!
When you get to La Cumbre you immediately understand this finca is completely different from all the others. Here research and experimentation lead the whole work, not only during the harvest and the processing, but since the very selection of varieties to plant. Information are collected at every step so that all the coffee and its evolution are fully traceable throughout the processing phases.
Their machineries are modern and innovatory, their cleanness is stunning and the staff has a professional expertise. Each batch of coffee is analysed and cupped in the laboratory. No detail is left behind: everything is traceable, from the plot of land where the coffee is grown through the bag where it is finally packed. With Emilio we have been sharing the same idea of work…. from today we will also share the coffee of the Finca La Cumbre!
- Botanical variety: 100% Bourbon
- Processing: natural
- Harvest: end of December – half of February
- Drying: sun dried, on pathios
- Altitude: 1.500 – 1.600 m asl
- Quality/screen: SHG EP