Farm: Finca Los Nogales
Varietal: 100% Bourbon
Processing: Fully Washed & dried on clay patios
Altitude: 1,250 to 1,450 metres above sea level
Owner: Aviles Pacas Hermanos
Town / City: Canton Potrero Grande Arriba
Region: Santa Ana (Apaneca-Ilamatepec, Ahuachapán)
Overall: Hazelnut, milk chocolate, pear
Finca Nogales - El Salvador
This 100% Bourbon lot is the result of hard work and dedication, not to mention a wealth of coffee expertise. It was grown on Finca Los Nogales by the Aviles Pacas Hermanos (Aviles Pacas Brothers), a family business founded in 1973. The business is the culmination of more than 50 years of passion for the farming, processing and commercialisation of coffee.
The coffee legacy began on Finca San Rafael, the family’s first farm, which they have cultivated for more than 100 years. Back in 1930, the brothers’ grandfather, Don Fernando Alberto Pacas Figueroa, planted saplings of Maragogype, San Ramón, Arabica and Robusta in his small coffee garden on San Rafael. As they plants grew, Don Fernando cared carefully for them, making sure they produced to the best of their ability. Soon, some of the varieties on his small coffee plot were producing 85-102 quintales per acre, which was practically unheard of at the time. Don Francisco De Sola, one of El Salvador’s prominent coffee exporters, got wind of this, and understandably he was keen to see for himself. He visited the coffee garden and made specific observations regarding the Arabica hybrid known as San Ramón. He was so impressed by some of the coffee trees in the garden that he called Dr. William Cowgill of the University of Florida and invited him to see Finca San Rafael for himself. After his visit and subsequent research, Dr. Cowgill concluded that the new, highly-productive coffee plants were a mutation of San Ramón. He named the variety ‘Pacas’ in honour of Don Fernando Alberto Pacas Figueroa. This variety is now grown widely across El Salvador and Guatemala – indeed across Central America.
Today, Don Fernando’s grandsons (the ‘Brothers’ mentioned in the company name) carry on his legacy, not only at San Ramón but also at their other three farms, including Los Nogales (the Cactuses), from where this coffee hails. As of 2019, this is becoming harder and harder, as coffee growers across El Salvador have been hit by a host of problems, from climate change (which has caused massive outbreaks of coffee leaf rust) through to social unrest, which has seen a rise of theft from coffee farms and labour issues over the past several years. Aviles Pacas Hermanos carries on, nonetheless. They have planted new varieties that are rust-resistant and have maintained and renovated the high-grown varieties with good cup quality (such as Bourbon). Every one of their coffee beans is hand-selected and processed under the highest standards of quality and hygiene, from the moment it is planted until it is delivered to the hands of the customer.
All coffee from Nogales is carefully harvested by hand and meticulously sorted before being delivered for processing to the nearby Beneficio El Carmen. Fernando Alfaro, the owner of the mill and El Carmen Estate, works with the family to process their coffee to their specifications, so as to assure its quality and consistency. This lot has been wet milled and fermented for approximately 8 hours, according to the mill’s stringent methods, before being Fully washed and laid to dry on clay patios.
Worker welfare is very important to the Aviles Pacas Brothers. All employees (including casual and seasonal labourers) participate in an annual medical campaign and are covered by insurance. Permanent employees also receive schooling for their children, life insurance, are usually paid far in excess of the national minimum wage and receive a retirement settlement. The family knows that investing in your employees is one of the best ways to ensure long-term growth and stability, so they incorporate these measures into their sustainability plans, along with a host of environmental measures.