El Sunzita Pacas, El Salvador
About the Coffee
Flavour profile: A silky and elegant cup with an aroma of vanilla. Notes of lemon curd and clementine, with macadamia nut in the finish. A light body with a mouthfeel reminding of vanilla custard.
Colour: Light pink
Producer: Mauricio Ortiz and Mary Ortiz
Region: El Pasti in the Santa Ana region
Harvest: End of December 2020 - February 2021
Altitude: 1400 meters above sea level
While visiting El Sunzita in March 2020, the whole farm was already flowering. The white flowers covering the coffee trees made the farm El Sunzita look like a snowy Sweden, but with the scent of jasmine! The harvest had finished earlier than any other year due to early rain starting off the harvest and a dry season. This year, 2021, the harvest was even earlier. El Sunzita is also the lowest grown coffee we buy, which means the harvest is often starting earlier than at other farms we buy from. A lower-grown coffee makes less dense bean, and also more soluble when we brew the coffee. Simply put: the coffee from El Sunzita is easy to brew and easy to like.
We have been working with Mary and Mauricio Ortiz for many years, they are kind, and very driven in producing the best coffee they can and are paying attention to details. We are the only ones buying the coffee sourced directly from the farm El Sunzita. The coffee they produce that we are not buying goes to the local mill, El Sunza, and gets blended with several other producers' beans in the area that are being processed there. We bought that blend years ago, but have been working directly with the Ortiz couple for the last few years and every year they produce even higher-end speciality coffee.
Mary has received the Coffee grower of the year, by the agricultural minister of El Salvador, because of the innovative process that they use at their farm. El Sunzita is a great example of driven producers that are putting in the extra work to achieve higher quality. Year after year we are getting more varietals separated. This is the Pacas varietal. The taste profile is kind and mild, with flavours of vanilla custard and a pretty clean acidity of lemon.
About the Mary and Mauricio Ortiz
Mary and Mauricio were given their current piece of land through Mauricio's family, 30 years ago when they got married and started to grow coffee on the plot soon thereafter. Mauricio is an agronomist and Mary is working with admin and business. Step by step they have built an incredibly beautiful farm on their land. Today they have built a nursery to be able to strengthen weaker plants, installed a small pulper to be able to experiment on different processing. Their grown-up kids are getting more and more involved as well.
On their 16 hectares, they now have a beautiful nursery and a small scale pulper.
Mauricio as an agronomist and producer, he does consulting with other producers in the area. At El Sunzita he is working as steady and organic as he can, focusing on the three S’s: Soil, Sun and Shade. By covering the area where the coffee trees are growing, with shading trees, sending soil on tests readings and creating their own fertilizers. On the new plants, they have been focusing on building stronger roots of the plants, for three years they've applied biota and are also making fertilizers from the coffee pulp.
Pacas is a natural mutation of Bourbon. Similar to other widely cultivated Bourbon mutants like Villa Sarchi and Caturra. The variety was discovered in 1949 in Santa Ana by the famous Pacas family. Today it accounts for about 25% of the country's coffee production. Pacas has a single-gene mutation that causes the plant to grow smaller and gives a cup profile that is slightly more delicate compared to the Bourbon from El Sunzita.
The farm belongs to the mountain pitch El Sunza, with a total of 140 hectares of coffee farms, owned by Mauricio's brother. In 2015, Mary and Mauricio decided they wanted to produce the coffee from their farm individually. They named their farm as a small bit of El Sunza, El Sunzita and their aim was to process the higher quality coffee and sell it separately. This has contributed to a more economical sustainability in the business.
We’re now happy to have the coffee from El Sunzita at Drop Coffee, for the sixth year in a row working with the couple. Step by step we’ve been growing the cooperation. Over the last years, our cooperation has given us the opportunity to have the varietals separated for us which means that we can offer these separately to you.