San Cayetano, El Salvador
About the coffee
Flavour profile: A sweet aroma of orange peel. A mature and wet flavour profile of dried plums, blueberry and dried fruit. with a lingering aftertastereminding of raisin. The body is medium weight and the mouthfeel is velvety.
Colour: Wine red
Category: Comfortable - Curious
Producer: Rafael and Carmen da Silva Hoff with family
Farm: San Cayetano
Harvested: March 2021
Region: Ahuachapán, Santa Ana
Process station: San Pedro owned by Rafael and Carmen Silva Hoff's
Elevation: 1600 meters above sea level
Roast: Light to medium to present the natural characteristics of the coffee.
This is the Natural processed Catimor from San Cayetano. It is produced by our long-time friends Rafael and Carmen Silva Hoff, based in the Santa Ana region in El Salvador. As always, we get many different processes and varietals separated to us from San Cayetano, here is the Catimor for you! Few producers are doing so many varietals and processes with such and accuracy, knowledge and attention to details witch makes the different coffees from the fairly small farm San Cayetano kind of a box of chocolate to work with.
The couple has a processing station, where they process coffee for surrounding farmers in the area. It is known for being working strict and accurate. Rafael is still working hands-on for several hours each day, but the turnout at the processing station is also of a perfect standard; clean with strict attention to details. But, on top of that this coffee is from Carmen and Rafael's own farm called San Cayetano. The farm is located in extremely steep and windy conditions in Ahuachapán in the Santa Ana region.
About Carmen and Rafael Silva Hoff
This is the fifth year we are buying the coffee from Carmen and Rafael. The family is so professional to work with and are so hardworking and the friendliest people. They have full control from the farm throughout the process and export to us.
Sourcing green coffee, we meet a lot of producers and all of them are working very hard. But none we have ever met is working as focused and as many hours of the day as Rafael. He is in total running six farms and one mill. I think it is fair to call Rafael a control freak, details to picking, sorting and also as a fairest possible cupping room.
Being very young Rafael got introduced to coffee, and at the age of 21 Rafael got his first farm from his father. A few years later he met his wife Carmen. The couple got married in their young 30s and since then they are running the business together. Carmen is very much doing everything in the back office, logistics, and marketing. The name of their company is Sicafé.
In 2010, they decided to invest in their own mill called San Pedo. Not to make a lot of money from it, but for having full control of the full process of the coffee. Here they process coffee from their own farms separated by day lots and varietals, and they also process coffee for other producers in the area. Their two sons, Rafael Gerardo and Rodrigo and their daughter Valeria are now very involved in the business.
Carmen and Rafael been winning the El Salvador Cup of Excellence for their farm La Lany in 2005, 2007, for the farm Siberia in 2010 and 2012 and for Llano Grande in 2012. And in 2017 San Cayetano won Silver in the Agenca Pour la Valoriastion des Produits Agirole.
Together the couple holds over 70 years in coffee.
In El Salvador, the biggest challenges is security for the people and the coffee fungus called leaf rust (roja).
As in most places in El Salvador, the neighbouring farms to San Cayetano are suffering badly from leaf rust which can easily be transferred to the plants at San Cayetano by the wind. For these reasons, the yield has been lower for the last couple of years. Rafael and Carmen have built more windbreakers to shield their plants and applying sulfate and fertilizers. In some areas of San Cayetano that are more fragile to Roja, opera and zink are being applied (helps the leaves). Since a couple of years ago they have been using a natural organic fertilizer made at the farm, which has improved the yield even more.
The workers picking at San Cayetano during three months are local staff from Ahuachapán. They get a ride to and from town by the manager every day. At the mill, many of the workers are employed all year with full insurance. Carmen and Rafael are strict and to the details in how they want to coffee to be treated and they pay their staff above the national guidelines.
At the mill, they are using rainwater they are collecting in two big reservoirs, which is enough for all their water needs.