El Salvador Las Mercedes Pacamara Honey
Location: Los Angeles, California
Origin: Cerro El Tigre, El Salvador.
Est. Price: $14.50/12 ounces
Review Date: August 2014
An original and striking, though perhaps potentially polarizing coffee. Its juxtaposition of honeyish and cherry-like sweetness with savory notes that suggest dried mushroom and thyme will not please everyone, but will delight many. Even the floral notes combine savory and sweet. Quiet but richly vibrant acidity; full, syrupy mouthfeel. The complexity of the flavor consolidates but persists in the finish.
This lot is comprised entirely of the much admired, bold-bean Pacamara variety of Arabica, a cross between the giant-beaned Maragogipe variety and Pacas, a selection of the heirloom Bourbon. It was prepared by the honey method, meaning the skin was removed from the coffee fruit immediately after picking but the beans or seeds were dried with at least some of the fruit pulp or “honey” still adhering to them. It is Rainforest Alliance certified, meaning it was produced following sustainable ecological and socio-economic criteria developed by the Sustainable Agricultural Network, a coalition of independent, environment-focused non-governmental organizations. A Los Mercedes coffee won first place in the 2006 El Salvador Cup of Excellence Competition. As mandated by Klatch Coffee’s direct trade contract, 25 cents of every pound of this coffee sold goes to support community sports programs and medical clinics in the producing community. Klatch Coffee is an award-winning small-batch roasting company in the Los Angeles area whose resident barista and trainer, Heather Perry, won both the 2003 and 2007 United States Barista Championships brewing a Klatch Coffee espresso blend. Visit www.klatchroasting.com or call 877-455-2824 for more information.
Who Should Drink It: Anyone who enjoys complex essays in juxtapositions of sweet and savory should enjoy this coffee, but aficionados may be particularly interested in possible readings of impact of variety and processing method: The savory/sweet richness may be owing to the impact of the Pacamara variety; the honey processing doubtless further contributes to sweetness and complexity.