Finca Lorena lies at lies at between 1,150 to 1,250 metres in the foothills of El Salvador’s Santa Ana volcano, in the fertile Apaneca Ilamatepec mountain range. It is owned and managed by Renato Arturo Romero Silva, whose family has been farming at Finca Lorena for three generations. Renato inherited the farm (and much of his vast coffee knowledge) when his father –also Renato Auturo –passed away in 1990.
The farm extends over twenty hectares, all of which is planted out with Pacamara, Typica, Bourbon and Catimor coffee trees growingin the tranquilshade of native forest trees. Some three hectaresare dedicated entirely to the Pacamara varietal, and the rest is an even mix, with a strong presence of the Bourbon treesthathave contributed to this lot.
Renato Romero Silva always seeks to farm in a sustainable and environmentally responsible way. He uses a minimum of chemical fertilisers and herbicides on his farm and enriches his soil with organic matter (much of which is composted by-product from the coffee processing)to ensure his trees have all the nutrients necessary for healthy growth. The farm also collects its own rainwater using tanks and drainage channels.
Renato raises his own seedlings in the farm’s nursery, selecting the best seeds from the strongest plants to establish his seedlings. He is currently undergoing a project to replant the farm’s older Typica lots with new,more productive Bourbon trees. This renovation of his plantations not only helps maintain high quality and productivity, the young plants will have a greater natural resistance to diseases and plagues such as coffee leaf rust.
During the harvest, the Bourboncherries are hand-picked only when perfectly ripe.All coffee is meticulously sorted before being delivered for processing to the nearby BeneficioEl 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. The majority of coffee from Lorena is fully washed, soaked and pre-dried. However, increasingly, special lots, such as this one, will be processed using the natural processing method, for which El Carmen mill is increasingly renowned.
After cherries are sorted by hand again at the mill, they are delivered to dry on African Beds or on the mills extensive clay patios for 21 days, where they are regularly raked (initially every 20 minutes) to ensure even drying. Lots that start in the beds will spend an additional three to fourdays on clay patios, for a total drying time of around 26 days. Finally, the beans are prepared and all defects removed and screened to uniform size.