Hermann and Nena Mendez
Ahuachapan, El Salvador
Like I wrote last year, Finca Talnamica is a special place. It's not one of the famous places you hear about in the coffee trade. It's not particularly well-known or hip or cool. Only a few roasters in the United States import their coffees and I'm very honored that Spro is one of those roasters.
I first met Hermann and Nena Mendez when I joined the Zoka Coffee / Caffe Ladro buying group. They hosted us at the farm house for a couple of evenings and we had the most wonderful time touring the farm, seeing the workers in action and just spending time hanging out, chatting and drinking coffee with Hermann and Nena.
If you're unfamiliar with Hermann and Nena, allow me to quote our post from 2015:
"While originally from El Salvador, the Mendez' spent decades living in New York City where Hermann was among the first physicians in the world to recognize pediatric AIDS and to research AIDS transmission from mothers to their unborn babies where he was known for his compassionate and kind care of infant AIDS patients. Eventually, Doctor Mendez became chair and professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Lincoln Memorial and Mental Health Center in The Bronx and then later focused on other childhood diseases and specialized in pediatric obesity and diabetes.
Looking out across the Apaneca-Illamatepec mountain range at your feet and the 100 kilometers of Pacific coastline from the gardens gives you the first inkling that Talnamica is a special place. Nestled between the towns of Apaneca and Ataco, the farm was founded in the 1950s by Alfredo Ortiz Mancia and his wife Bessita. After acquiring and cultivating a small piece of property, Talnamica quickly became Señor Ortiz's passion and he continually purchased land over the years, slowly growing Talnamica's size. Today, Talnamica boasts 170 manzanas (about 289 acres) with the majority of the crop being Bourbon and Pacas varietals, with a small percentage of the rust resistant Colombian Castillo.
Shade for the coffee is provided by large Inga trees lined with Colpachi plants serving as windbreaks. Surrounding the property are Liquidambar and Melaleuca trees. In addition to these growths, the family also cultivates a number of medicinal plants and the farm features a waterhole and a small creek, along with other native vegetation."
Every day during harvest, the workers pick the ripest cherries and then bring them to a central location at the end of the day. At this point they are graded and weighed and then sent by truck to the nearby processing center: Beneficio Cuatro M.
At Cuatro M, the cherries are stripped of their hull and then spread across the concrete patios by morning to begin drying in the hot sun. From there, the coffee is raked at least once per hour to turn the coffee and promote even drying. This will continue for the next ten to twelve days until the coffee reaches the desired moisture level of about 11.5% before being bagged and stored for maturation.
In the cup, the Lot 377 is a rounded, full-flavored cup that's lightly bright with bass notes of cacao and a great all-day drinking coffee.
2016 Finca Talnamica Lot 377 SHG
Producer: Hermann and Nena Mendez
Farm Manager: Miguel Angel
Region: Ahuachapan, El Salvador
Elevation: 1375 masl
Harvest: February 2016
Style: Shade grown
Processing: Fully Washed
Varietal: Red Bourbon
2016 Finca Talnamica Lot 377 SHG
Whole Bean - 10 ounces
Please Note: Our Sproastery works on a weekly roasting schedule to provide the freshest coffee possible. Currently, our roast day is on Tuesdays. Our coffees are roasted on Tuesday and shipped out by Wednesday for weekday delivery. Please place your orders by midnight Monday night so that we can accommodate your order in our production schedule. Thank you.