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Malacara brought two Kenyan standards to El Salvador: the SL-28 variety and raised beds on which it was dried. In the process, it produced a coffee with flavors of cola, caramelized orange and dried apricot.
  • SKU 208004
  • Country El Salvador
  • Region within Country Santa Ana
  • Elevation 1600 m.a.s.l.
  • Farm Finca Malacara
  • Farmer / Producer Name Epe Alvarez
  • Buyer Andy Atkinson
  • Cultivar SL-28
  • Harvest Time February 2017
  • Harvest Year 2016
Direct Trade 1
Single Origin 1
In Season 1
CitrusStone FruitDark Sugars

Malacara El Salvador SL-28 Limited Release

Partnership, growth and continuous improvement at every link in the coffee chain are the fundamental building blocks of Intelligentsia’s Direct Trade program. The coffees we source from Finca Malacara in the Santa Ana region of El Salvador provide one of the clearest examples of these principles at work. And nothing embodies them quite like our yearly release of Finca Malacara’s SL-28 variety, a coffee that represents a truly collaborative partnership between three vital links on the chain: farm, mill and roaster. This season marks the fourth harvest and release of this Intelligentsia exclusive coffee that we have been excited to be a part of since its conception in the mind of Guillermo “Epe” Alvarez.

What makes this coffee especially unique is the context of its origins, and the departure Epe took from conventional practice in Santa Ana when he started this coffee variety adventure. El Salvador is a country of deep tradition, and the coffee industry in the country is no exception. Many of the farms in the country, especially in the historic Santa Ana region, have been owned by the same families since the late 1800s, and have been planted with traditional Bourbon variety coffee for nearly as long. Because of this history and tradition, varietal experimentation was exceptionally rare until the last decade. Even then, few growers strayed beyond three traditional Latin American varieties: Pacas, Pacamara and Catuai. But Epe was attuned to the broader trend beyond El Salvador toward varietal diversification, thanks to conversations at our Extraordinary Coffee Workshop and his participation in other international events. He saw opportunity in bringing a Kenyan variety to his farm. In 2010, he planted a small lot of the SL-28 variety towards the top of his farm.

A parallel story played out concurrently at the El Borbollon mill, owned by Epe’s cousin Eduardo Alvarez, where Epe processes all of his coffees. Like coffee farming, most coffee milling in El Salvador follows the historic traditions of the country with large cement washing tanks and expansive sun-soaked brick patios. At first glance, El Borbollon seems to cleave to this traditional approach, as it was built decades ago to process large amounts of coffee from farms across the region. However, as you venture further into the complex you see an expanse of raised drying beds that has been growing for the past few years. Much like the variety Epe planted on his farm, these beds were a non-traditional adoption picked up from a unique connection to practices happening around the world. Both originated in Africa, and their arrival in El Salvador was hastened by the contacts Epe and Eduardo made with our Direct Trade partners from East Africa during our Extraordinary Coffee Workshops.

Being very early adopters of these African imports, neither Epe nor Eduardo knew exactly how they would work in El Salvador. But as soon as we released the first harvest of this coffee in 2014 it became clear that the coffee’s quality was going to put it in high demand, so that tiny lot of coffee has expanded every year.

he 2017 edition of our Malacara El Salvador SL-28 delivers notes of cola, caramelized orange and dried apricot.

Espresso

Espresso

All home and commercial espresso machines.

Turkish Grind

Turkish Grind

If you need a little bit coarser grind for your espresso machine or utilize this favorite preparation in eastern Europe.

Stovetop Espresso

Stovetop Espresso

Moka pots and stovetop espresso kettles need a very fine grind.

Cone Filter - Paper

Cone Filter - Paper

Most automatic and electric brewers utilize this grind setting.

Cone Filter - Gold

Cone Filter - Gold

Automatic brewers with reusable mesh filters, or a Kone manual brewing insert.

Universal

Universal

If you're buying for a friend, or are just not sure - this is a good grind for most drip brewers.

Technivorm

Technivorm

We found this excellent automatic brewer needed a bit coarser grind than other cone filter brewers.

Vacuum Brewer

Vacuum Brewer

For those with an electric or flame-heated vacuum brewer.

Flat Bottom - Paper

Flat Bottom - Paper

Any basket-style brewer, including automatic and Kalita wave manual brewing.

Flat Bottom - Gold

Flat Bottom - Gold

For automatic brewers with basket-style reusable filters.

French Press

Hario Dripper

Manual pourover cone brewing is a simple, no frills way of brewing.

Grind Type

French Press

A classic of immersion brewing. Select this grind for perfect classical preparation.

Chemex

Chemex

The iconic Chemex, this grind provides a perfectly paired offering for the special filters made for this brewer.

Percolator

Percolator

Our coarsest grind, this also provides a good pre-ground solution for cold brew at home.

Whole Bean

Whole Bean

For those with a grinder at home, we love freshly ground coffee! We prefer burr grinders for a more even brew.