San Carlos, El Salvador
San Carlos, in Santa Ana El Salvador, is a family estate owned by Ernesto Menendez and his brothers. Ernesto also owns the famed Las Brumas and La Illusion, both of which have earned many awards including Cup of Excellence presidential awards as well as World Barista Competition winners. Alejandro Mendez used Ernesto’s coffee to win the world barista competition in 2013, and Dale Harris used Las Brumas coffee to win in 2017.
Over the past several years, Elixr has purchased the washed Bourbon from San Carlos as a staple of our beekeeper and treehouse blends. In the past year’s the washed Bourbon has been sweet, clean, and balanced, but somewhat lacking the more distinctive fruit characteristics. It made the coffee perfect for our blends, which needed a sweet base which we typically layer on with Ethiopian or Colombian coffees to add character. Two years ago, Elixr and Ernesto started experimenting with different fermentations, which we largely borrowed from our friends at La Palma y El Tucan in Colombia- a farm which we have worked closely with throughout many different coffee competitions. We experimented with several Las Brumas varieties as well as this Bourbon from San Carlos.
For this crop, we did an anaerobic honey process, and we were floored when we cupped it because we found the coffee retained all of its sweetness, but also added many layers of complex fruit as a byproduct of the anaerobic honey process. The resulting cup is a delicious layering of exotic chocolate, it's creamy like custard, but also has a sort of citrus effervescence like orange soda.