Farm: Finca Los Potros
Varietal: Red Bourbon, Orange Bourbon & Sarchimor
Processing: Fully washed & sun dried on patios
Altitude: 1,400 to 1,500 metres above sea level
Owner: Dr. Carlos Alfedo Méndez Flores
Town / City: Concepción de Ataco, Ahuachapan
Region: Apaneca Ilamatepec mountain range
Overall: Sweet tarts, bakers chocolate
Finca Tres Potros - El Salvador
Dr. Méndez Flores comes from a long line of coffee farming stock, and his family owns six properties in different parts of El Salvador. He farms Finca Tres Potros, which sits at between 1,400 and 1,500 metres near the town of Apaneca with his two brothers. Having bought the farm in their youth, they named the farm Tres Potros (Three Colts) – essentially ‘The ThreeYoung Stallions’.
Together they have implemented a constant programme of renovation and quality-improvement on the farm. Many new trees have been planted with special attention to maintaining high quality while improving productivity. Social commitment is also a priority, and above all, Dr. Méndez sees the farm’s contribution to the local economy and the incomes it generates for those living in the local area as its most important role.
Due to Dr. Méndez’s hard work, Tres Potros is home to healthy Red and Orange Bourbon and some Sarchimor trees that grow in the shade of native (and nitrogen fixing) Inga, Pepeto and Cuje. These shade trees are interspersed with mango, orange and avocado that contribute the added benefit of producing fruit to be sold at local markets to supplement the farm’s income (not to mention helping to put food on local workers’ tables). A wide range of flora and fauna are sheltered by this protected environment. Dr. Méndez Flores takes environmental protection and sustainability very seriously, and workers’ houses have also been fitted with solar power in order to better preserve the natural, privileged resources of the area.
The perfect combination of ideal climate (with an average rainfall of 2500 ml and average temperature of 17º C), altitude and painstaking care in cultivation has helped the farm to receive several local and international awards and recognition for quality. Dr. Méndez’s other farms have won Cup of Excellence awards in the recent past. These successes have spurred Dr. Méndez and his family to deepen their commitment to coffee farming and have encouraged them to continue planting new varieties on some of their other farms. Their farm, Finca San Carlos, has also recently been certified under the protected Denomination of Origin of Apaneca-Ilamatepec due to its location and high cup quality.
Between the family’s three farms all neighbour one another and use the same wet mill – the renowned Beneficio El Carmen. During the harvest around 40 people are employed to carry out the picking, pruning, planting and fertilization. Additional workers also deliver the freshly picked cherries each day to the El Carmen wet mill, where it is carefully pulped, fermented and washed before being sun dried on the beneficio’s clay patios.
Future plans for the farm are to continue renovation work over the coming years, planting new varieties that are both resistant to rust and maintain high cup quality.