Two years ago, a variety of coffee called Acaia was planted at Finca Ayutepeque, in a lot named Santa Rosa. Acaia is a variety of coffee developed in Brazil, crossing Typica and Red Bourbon.
For this planting, all of the shade trees were removed, and 6,000 seedlings were planted in rows 1 X 2.5 meters apart; enabling the lot to be mechanically weeded and fertilized. One year later, another 6,000 young plants were added, totaling 12,000 sun-grown trees in the lot, four hectares in size.
Now, this Monday, for the first time, we received coffee from that first planting in lot Santa Rosa, Finca Ayutepeque. For its first picking, we were extremely selective at the farm level, asking only that the ripest cherries be harvested. Despite strict expectations, we were able to collect more than 10 bags from the first pass through the trees.
We will process the cherries at our traditional washing station, however, reserved 40 pounds of uva (coffee fruit) for our third experiment of the harvest, which will measure the effects of processing method on cup profile for this specific variety.
In years passed, we have run this experiment, as a part of the El Manzano Project. The first year, we measured the effects of processing on the bourbon variety, presented on at the 2011 Roaster's Guild Retreat in West Virginia, and offered for purchase by Sweet Marias as a 20 pound set, featuring each processing method, and the second year, looking at those same characteristics, along with three other varieties: Pacamara, Yellow Bourbon, & Kenia; presented within a workshop, as a part of Sustainable Harvest's Experimentos en Cafe.
This being our third year and trial with the process experiment, we are excited for it to take place with the Acaia variety, which we are still learning about and measuring, as it is such a new variety for El Salvador, and Fincas Ayutepeque & Manzano.