The average farm held by these producers is between 1–3 manzanas in size (1 manzana is slightly smaller than a hectare), and most yield fewer than 20 full-size bags of exportable coffee annually. They grow predominantly Bourbon, Pacas, and Pacamara variety coffees, and until the 2010s the producers had all been selling their lots on the local market for a low price, without any way to access better buyers.
Our partners at Cafe Imports have been working with these families for several years in order to build a solid foundation, being sure to bring them higher prices and reward their exceptional quality. These super-small lots are bagged in smaller increments (35 kilograms) and affectionately called "pequeños," but don't let their size fool you: These are exquisite coffees grown in the lesser know region of Chalatenango by committed, passionate farmers, many of whom are seeing specialty prices for their lots for the first time in the area's history.
Carlos Mauricio Lemus Landaverde is a young producer who inherited his father’s 4-hectare farm after his father, Jose Maria Lemus, passed away in a car accident. Carlos is following in his father’s and family’s footsteps with regards to quality, though, and was awarded as the ninth-place winner in the 2017 El Salvador Cup of Excellence competition. After picking, depulping, and sorting, coffee is put on raised beds to dry for 15–18 days.