Over the past few weeks, Cuatro M has been observing different varieties of coffee, in an experiment measuring the effect of natural processing on different varieties of coffee.
Along with that experiment however, are several other observations and events regarding different varieties of coffee, at the farm and mill levels of the operation.
At the farm level, many seedlings of various varieties are being planted at Finca Ayutepeque, a process that has been taking place for several years now.
The first of the seedlings is the variety Red Bourbon, which is the most common variety in El Salvador, however, the second type of seedlings being planted, are some of the first to be done so in the country.
Acaia is a Brazilian variety of coffee that is a mutation of two different varieties within the species Arabica. Within that species, Acaia is made up of the Bourbon & Typica Sumatra varieties of coffee.
Similar to the mutation, into Bourbon from Typica, the Acaia variety yields a greater volume of coffee than the Bourbon Variety, as does the Bourbon yield more than that of Typica.
The first set of steps in testing Acaia at the plantation level, was to plant several trees within the HG plantation, and measure the production and quality of its yield, three years after planting. This action was performed several years ago, and over the course of the past 4 harvests, Cuatro M has found the variety to perform well at Ayutepeque. The decision to move forward with planting more of the variety was then made, and performed during the summer of 2011, where 10% of Finca Ayutepeque was cleared, in order to enable the young Acaia seedlings to be planted, far enough apart for a tractor fit between the rows of trees, and without the presence of shade trees.
For the next three years, those trees will be cared for and observed, until they can be harvested and cupped, in order to determine the overall quality of yield and cup.
Beyond the farm level, new varieties of coffee are arriving at the mill for processing. One of those is the Sampacho variety, of which very little is known in El Salvador.
Cuatro M processed its first batch of Sampacho on Monday, January 16, and it now rests on the eastern patio, drying to proper moisture content, at which point it will be sampled, roasted, and cupped in the laboratory.
Until that time, we search for resources and information on the variety, which, as of today, have been impossible to find online; meaning that only external observations are able to be made, of the new variety’s shape and size, showing similar characteristics to that of Bourbon. Once it arrives on the cupping table however, Cuatro M will be able to determine the overall quality of aroma and taste.