Notes: Wildflower Honey & Green Apple
Origin: Santa Ana, El Salvador
Producer: Emilio Lopez Diaz
Importer: Odyssey Coffees
Processing: Washed, Partially Dried on Raised Beds, Finished in a Mechanical Dryer
Altitude: 1350-1500 masl
Harvest Year: 2022
Variety: Red Bourbon
I (Justin) first met Emilio while working at another roaster over 10 years ago. At the time we were roasting and brewing his Finca El Manzano Red Bourbon lot which produced an exceptionally bright and clean cup with a mind altering sweetness. This would become a coffee that I would remember fondly throughout the years in my coffee career and often come up in conversation as one of the finest coffees I had ever tasted. Since that time the coffee from El Manzano has been used successfully as a competition coffee, most notably by Laila Ghambari who won the 2015 US Barista Championship. In 2018 Emilio also grabbed first and second place finishes in the El Salvador cup of excellence - a testament to his farm's terroir and impeccable processing.
When I became the roaster and green coffee buyer here at Roseline, I had always wanted to bring in Emilio's coffee to share with all of you but for reasons of timing and availability, we never got the opportunity. This last March I was walking across the Burnside bridge on a sunny afternoon when I (literally) crossed paths with Emilio. I stopped, re-introduced myself and invited him into our production facility for a cupping. He shared with me that he happened to be leasing an apartment close by and was now splitting his time between Portland and El Salvador while he was starting his new importing venture Odyssey Coffee. Emilio also mentioned that he would likely have some coffee available for purchase for this harvest year and that he'd bring some samples by to taste.
We tasted through samples intermingled with coffee from out current production lineup in a blind cupping (we taste all of our samples and production coffees blindly to assess overall quality and eliminate biases) and there it was. One of the coffees stood out on the table for its outstanding clarity, floral sweetness reminiscent of wildflower honey and the crisp acidity of green apple. When the coffees were revealed, this sample was indeed the Red Bourbon from Emilio's Finca El Manzano, just as I'd remembered it all those years ago. Emilio said that there would be some available in the next container due into the port of Tacoma in the coming months.
With great enthusiasm I share with you a coffee that has been a formative piece of my coffee journey and is roasted with all the knowledge and experience I've accumulated since first tasting this coffee.