EL SALVADOR SICINIAPA ESTATE
EL SALVADOR SICINIAPA ESTATE: DECEMBER EXCLUSIVE
This month for our subscribers, we’re thrilled by the return of El Salvador to our single origin microlot roster. Limited release El Salvador Sicipiana Estate is available through our Small Batch coffee subscription series, so those who already subscribe are in for a treat this month. And if you’re a subscriber to any of our other subscription series, you can easily add a pound (or more) to your next order—with free shipping, as usual. Gotta love those subscriber perks!
THE RETURN OF A LONG-TIME STAPLE
Coffees from El Salvador have been important in many of our blends for years, and it was once the number two producing coffee-growing country in the world. During that time, most of the production was Bourbon variety, but when Central America was hit by a blight of coffee leaf rust, the Bourbon crops were decimated. Farms were hit so hard that regions that had lush groves of coffee trees were reduced to fields of puny sticks with nary a leaf in sight. It was devastation like this outbreak in El Salvador that prompted us to become founding members of World Coffee Research, who work tirelessly to develop climate-smart coffee varieties.
AN ORIGIN ON THE REBOUND
As a result, there’s been a lot of innovation. Research on climate smart coffee varieties is being conducted nearby, and farmers are using climate smart agricultural techniques, adjusting to changes in weather and climatic conditions. And it truly is a lovely climate for coffee, the 1300–1400-meter altitude producing a nice, balanced cup. And when we find lots like this from Siciniapa Estate that are particularly outstanding, then we think, "El Salvador is on the rebound." So, while it's not the big producing country it once was, it's an important country for us, thanks to small batches like this.
A REAL CROWD PLEASER
A perfect balance to our hearty and complex fan favorite Holiday Blend, Sicipiana Estate is one of those coffees that you’d have a third cup of with your pancakes on a Saturday. Easy drinking and bright, with prominent notes of blood orange balanced by sweet caramel. If you’ve got folks in town visiting or if you’re entertaining, then you've got something for everybody with this batch. Get a pound of Holiday, get a pound of this, have your whole chosen family over, and everyone is happy.
NOTES FROM THE PEET’S ROASTERY
Upon arrival at the Roastery from the Sicipiana Estate in El Salvador, this washed coffee was very clean: hardly any visible skin and no visible defects. The color of the medium-to-small beans was dark to light green, with some beans a bit darker in the center and lighter towards the outside. The smell was fresh alfalfa, both dry and fresh green.
The test roasts were a breeze, with no surprises and the extra bonus of being easy to finish, even by color. First crack was quiet, but it built to an obvious consensus. Second crack was very hard to hear beyond the first one or two snaps, but there were plenty of visual finishing cues that were easy to follow. A dream of a test roast.
The alfalfa-like smell of the green beans turned sweet during the roast, and we provided a wide range of profiles, so it was a super fun coffee to cup with six blind and randomized tasters. Our Coffee Department wanted to highlight the acidity of this lot in addition to the notes of blood orange and the impactful aroma this region is known for.
While we had a few contenders, we unanimously landed on test roast #7. Not only did this profile highlight exactly what our Coffee Department was hoping for, it nailed all the things we love in a dark roast profile: it’s warming, bright, and full. In addition, tasters found this profile to be highly complex, with notes of toasted coconut, brown sugar, and warming spice. This is one stellar winter microlot, and we’re looking forward to sharing many Chemex carafes with friends and family during December.
-John Nicolini and Michael Madden, Roasters
LIMITED RELEASE PEET’S COFFEES
You might think that a monthly coffee subscription sounds amazing in and of itself, but Peet’s Small Batch coffee-of-the-month takes it a step further. These are microlot coffees, which is why you can only find them at peets.com and you can only access them if you have a subscription. They’re special—their rarity means they can sell out—fast. Subscribing ensures you get to taste each one of these remarkable lots. And if you’re a tried-and-true fan and subscribe to of one of our other coffees or subscription series, not to worry: you can do an add-on of this limited release to your next shipment. At least, while it lasts.