Matalapa El Salvador Single Origin Espresso
- March 2017
- Written by : Andy Atkinson
Retail Regional Manager of New Markets & East Coast / Green Coffee Buyer
This was a fantastic year for coffee quality at Vickie Dalton Diaz’s Finca Matalapa. Not only were we able to source some spectacular lots for our perennial Matalapa offering, we also found a rare Matalapa Limited Release and just the right coffee to continue our annual Matalapa Single-Origin Espresso tradition.
Vickie’s farm is divided into 10 tablones (or sections). Some of these tablones may be familiar to Matalapa fans, since Puerta Zapa, El Pino, Cidra, and Roblar have made their mark on our Single-Origin Espresso program over the years. All the tablones typically produce the same general characteristics that we love about Matalapa coffees, including a delicate sweetness of honey and melon, but each tablón does produce subtle differences in flavor. Each year, we seek out these differences and keep on the lookout for a coffee from a single section of the farm that has accentuated sweetness and great balance for our Black Cat Project. Though the specific section of the farm on which we find that coffee may change from one year to the next, we are always able to find one that seems as if it were designed for use as an espresso. This year, just as one lot from the Mirador tablón stood out for our Matalapa Limited Release, another lot from the Guayabo tablón was undeniably perfect for a Single-Origin Espresso.
Guayabo is a lot one of the smallest tablones on Matalapa, located northwest edge of the farm. Like a number of the tablones, the inspiration for Guayabo’s name is arboreal: it is Spanish for guava tree. Its name is actually quite serendipitous this year, as the coffees from the Guayabo tablón resemble the sticky sweetness of the Guava fruit. This sort of simple yet intense sweetness translates well to a versatile single-origin espresso that can provide a fantastic backdrop to a cappuccino or stand on its own.
The history of coffees from Finca Matalapa, and their association with Intelligentsia espresso, runs deep. Finca Matalapa made its debut as an Intelligentsia espresso in 2008, when it was used by one of our baristas to win that year’s United States Barista Championship. This was the first time a single-origin coffee took home top honors at the competition, a trend that now dominates current barista competitions. As always, we are excited to release yet one more year of Matalapa Single-Origin Espresso as part of our Black Cat Project.