Farm: Finca Las Brisas Pascri
Varietal: 100% Bourbon
Processing: Fully washed & dried on clay patios
Altitude: 1,750 metres above sea level
Owner: Pascri S.A. de C.V. (Gerardo Pascual)
Town / City: Apaneca
Region: Apaneca-Ilamatepec, Ahuachapán
Finca Las Brisas Pascri - El Salvador
Nestled in the heights of the Apaneca/Ilamatepec Mountain Range, Finca Las Brisas (the Breezes) stands as a precious gem contributing to the beauty of the well-known UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Las Brisas is owned by Pascri S.A. de C.V., owned and managed by Sr. Gerardo Pascual, whose love for nature has inspired him to manage Las Brisas as he would a garden, with respect and care not only for his coffee trees but also for the diversity of flora and fauna with which they coexist. Gerardo originally purchased the land in1989, thinking it would be an ideal location to build a nice country house. However, as time progressed he realised that his new property’s location was perfect for growing high quality coffee. Shortly afterwards, he and his family purchased three additional parcels of land near the original, bringing Finca Las Brisas to its current 3.5 total hectares.
The small size of the farm allows Gerardo and his small team of 3 permanent employees the opportunity to painstakingly control the cultivation of the Bourbon and Pacamara coffee trees that have been planted throughout the farm. The coffee plots have been interspersed with a wide variety of fruit trees and other shade trees, including cherry, macadamia and the endangered liquidambar (sweet gum), which contribute to the farm’s rich soils and provide food and shelter to the diversity of fauna that call the farm their home.
Las Brisas is located at 1,750 meters above sea level; the cool temperatures ensured by this high altitude allow a slow, even ripening of the coffee cherries, making for optimal sugar development. Great care is taken during the harvest to pick only the ripest cherries, which are then processed using either the honey or fully washed method.
Due to Gerardo’s conviction and resolution to minimize the farm’s environmental footprint, only the minimal agrochemicals are used at Las Brisas, and most fertilisation is done using worm compost, which not only restores essential nutrients to the soil but also helps reduce erosion. During the 2009/2010 crop, the farm produced 80 quintales of compost, and this volume has more than doubled since that time. Maintaining soil fertility in this way, along with continuing to grow heirloom varietals such as Bourbon and Pacamara, is central to Gerardo’s production strategy, which holds that ‘an ounce of prevention’ though good nutrition and maintaining plant health ‘is worth a pound of cure’ for diseases such as coffee leaf rust.
As a young coffee producer, Gerardo is committed to continuing to farm coffee for many years to come and hopes to continuing increasing his farm’s productivity as well as its beauty.