El Salvador Las Isabellas: A love affair with coffee

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Almost 15 years ago, a young man in his early 20’s came into my store-front with some green coffee and a big smile. He told me his name was Francisco Valdivieso and that this coffee was from his family farm back in El Salvador. It wasn’t every day that I met someone like this in Newberg, Oregon, so I was intrigued to say the least.   

He told me about his family history and how, as a young boy during the peak of a civil war, his father moved their family from El Salvador to Oregon to start a new life. Meanwhile his father’s brother, Uncle Ricardo, stayed in El Salvador to manage the family business.

Their coffee farm is located in the western region of El Salvador and has been in Francisco’s family for over 120 years. Hiding among the farm’s shade-grown coffee plants are numerous Mayan ruins. Archeologists have dated some of these sites at over 3,500 years old.

Fascinated by this story and this young man, I took his sample of green coffee with the promise to “cup” it and let him know what I thought. Maybe it was the bias I had developed toward Central American coffees after my first trip to Costa Rica, or maybe it was the excitement of being a part of such a long lineage of coffee farmers. I don’t fully remember. What I do remember is feeling that we needed to offer this coffee to our customers.

I was compelled to acquire this coffee even though, at the time, we already carried a good selection of Central American coffees. I knew the importance of being passionate about the coffees we offered and working with growers who share in that passion. This was one of those coffees and the beginning of our love affair with it.12301711_1272294759462571_6385008008557665071_n

In 2006, my wife Krista and I were invited to take a trip down to the farm in El Salvador to meet the family that had stewarded this coffee farm for the past 120 years. It was a journey of a lifetime that left a mark on me as a person and instilled in me a commitment to seek out and partner with the amazing, vibrant people who grow coffee all around the world.

11219641_1281180785240635_7301883589676014227_nFour years after we first started offering this coffee, we were told that it would no longer be available to purchase. We were heartbroken, but this is not an uncommon situation in the specialty coffee world. It is easy to forget that coffee is an agricultural product subject to growing seasons and fluctuating markets.10170805_1286824291342951_7325454862719768089_n   

A few months ago, I learned that a local restaurant chain had purchased a container of this green coffee and that there would be a possibility of snagging a few bags “off the back of the truck” I was ecstatic! I had a chance to reunite our customers with a unique piece of Caravan history.

It has been seven years since Caravan has offered El Salvador Las Isabellas and I am happy to announce that it is available once again! With its smoky fragrance up front and rose petal and cinnamon finish, this coffee will not disappoint. 

It is available online and in our tasting room. (BUY ONLINE)

Public Coffee Cupping 4/17/2015

Public Tasting at Caravan

Join us for our Public Coffee Cupping where we will compare the following coffees side by side.

Ethiopia Kochere 
Latitude:   6° 15′ 36.61″N
Longitude:  38° 17′ 48.96″E
Altitude: 1820 m
Process:  Wet
Drying: Sun dried. raised beds
Varietal: Heirloom Ethiopia
Region: Kochere
Farm/Farmer: Coop
Broker: Dominion Coffee Importers

Ethiopia Sidamo Peaberry ( SAMPLE )
Farm/Farmer: Coop
Process: Wet
Varietal: Heirloom Ethiopia
Broker: Dominion Coffee Importers

Our Public Coffee Cuppings are always
complimentary to the public!

Public Coffee Cupping 4/3/2015

Public Tasting at Caravan

Join us for our Public Coffee Cupping as we compare the following coffees side by side:

 

Guatemala Antigua La Flor de Cafe
Latitude:   14°34′ N
Longitude:   90°41’W
Altitude: 1524+ m
Process: Wet
Drying: Sun
Varietal: Caturra, Catuai, Bourbon
Region: Antigua
Broker: La Minita

Costa Rica – SAMPLE
Farm/Farmer: La Cabana
Broker: Atlas

Public Coffee Cupping 3/20/2015

Public Tasting at Caravan

Join us for our Public Coffee Cupping and compare two coffees side by side!

Sumatra Mandheling – Fair Trade, Organic
Latitude:   3° 37′ N
Longitude:   96° 48′ E
Altitude: 762 – 1523m
Process:  Natural
Drying: Sun
Varietal: Catimor, Typica
Region: Batak
Broker: Walker

Brazil Monte Carmelo
Latitude: 18′ 39″ S
Longitude: 47′ 34″ W
Altitude: 900 m
Varietal: Catuai, Mundo Nova, Topazio
Farm/Farmer: Terra Rica
Certification: Socially Conscious
Region: Cerrado
Broker: Cape Horn

Our Public Coffee Cuppings are always
complimentary to the public!

Public Coffee Cupping 3/13/2015

Public Tasting at Caravan

Join us for our public coffee cupping as we compare two coffees side by side.

Ethiopia Yirgacheffe
Latitude:   6° 10′ N
Longitude:   38° 12′ E
Altitude: 1737 m
Process:  Wet
Varietal: Heirloom Ethiopia
Farmer/Farm: Coop
Region: Yirgacheffe
Broker: Walker

Ethiopia Kochere 
Latitude: 6° 15′ 36.61″N
Longitude: 38° 17′ 48.96″E
Altitude: 1820 m
Varietal: Heirloom Ethiopia
Coop: YES
Region: Yigacheffe
Broker: Dominion Coffee Importers

Our Public Coffee Cuppings are always
complimentary to the public!

Public Coffee Cupping 3/6/2015

Public Tasting at Caravan

Join us for our Public Coffee Cupping

as we compare two coffees side by side.

 

Peru Femenino – FAIR TRADE, ORGANIC
Latitude:   6′ 10′ S
Longitude:   79′ 29′ W
Altitude: Varies
Process:  Wet
Varietal: Varies
Farmer/Farm: All Women
Region: Penachi
Coop: CECANOR
Broker: OPTCO

 

Columbia Huila
Latitude: 1 49 N
Longitude: 75 53 W
Altitude: 1650-1800 m
Varietal: Caturra, Colombia, Castillo
Coop: YES
Region: Huila
Broker: Walker

Our Public Coffee Cuppings are always complimentary to the public!

Public Coffee Cupping – 2/13/2015

Public Tasting at Caravan

Join us for our Public Coffee Cupping where we will compare two coffees side-by-side.

Nicaragua Jinotega

Latitude:   13° 5′ N
Longitude:   86° 0′ W
Altitude: 900-950m
Process:  Wet
Varietal: Red & Yellow Caturra
Farmer/Farm: Finca Las Camelias
Region: Jinotega
Broker: Walker

Nicaragua Jinotega – SAMPLE
Certifications: Fair Trade, Organic

Our Public Coffee Cuppings are always
complimentary to the public!

Public Coffee Cupping 1/30/2015

Public Tasting at Caravan

Join us for our Public Coffee Cupping:

Ethiopia Yirgacheffe
Latitude:  6° 10′ N
Longitude:  38° 12′ E
Altitude: 1737m
Process:  Wet
Varietal: Heirloom Ethiopia
Coop: Yes
Region: Yirgacheffe
Broker: Walker

Guatemala Antigua La Flor
Latitude: 14°34′ N
Longitude: 90°41’W
Altitude: 1524+ m
Process:  Wet
Drying: Sun Dried
Varietal: Caturra, Catuai, Bourbon
Farm: Best 10
Coop: Yes
Region: Antigua
Broker: La Minita

Our Public Coffee Cuppings are always
complimentary to the public!

Public Coffee Cupping 1/23/2015

Public Tasting at Caravan

Join us for our Public Coffee Cupping:

Nicaragua Jinotega
Latitude: 13 5 N
Longitude: 86 0 W
Altitude: 1200 m
Process: Wet
Varietal: Red & Yellow Caturra
Farm/Farmer: Finca Las Camelias
Region: Jinotega
Notes: New to Caravan!
Broker: Walker

Ethiopia Kochere – SAMPLE
Altitude: 1820 m
Varietal: Heirloom Ethiopia
Region: Yirgacheffe
Process: Wet
Broker: Dominion Coffee Importers

Public Coffee Cupping 1/16/2015

Public Tasting at Caravan

Join us for our Public Coffee Cupping!

Colombia Huila
Latitude:  1 49 N
Longitude: 75 53 W
Altitude: 1650-1800 m
Process:  Wet
Varietal: Caturra Colombia Castillo
Coop: Yes
Region: Huila
Notes: Excelso, New to Caravan!
Broker: Walker
Decaf Costa Rica
Process: Wet
Broker: Walker
Our Public Coffee Cuppings are always
complimentary to the public!