FARM: Las Llantas
REGION: Apaneca - Ilamatepec
ALTITUDE: 1200 MASL
PROCESS: Anaerobic Natural
Second-generation coffee producer, Jose Enrique Gutierrez is dedicated to producing high-quality coffees in a sustainable manner. His family produced coffee in the eastern region of El Salvador but left due to low coffee prices and a civil war in the 1980s. Nevertheless, coffee is Jose’s passion and, when he purchased his first farm in 2007, he did so with a speciality mindset.
Finca Las Llantas is named for the car tyres placed at the entrance, which serve as chairs where visitors can take in a spectacular view. Jose mixes traditional agronomic knowledge with his own ideas for more sustainable practices. The speciality industry provided a stable price that enabled him to increase his land and purchase additional farms. Today, all of his farms, San Jose, El Limo, Las Brisas, El Horno and Los Cocos are focused on speciality production. As he purchased each new farm, Jose renovated the farms and installed integrated farming systems that focused on sustainable, high quality production.
Finca Las Llantas sits a 1,200 metres above sea level in the Apaneca-Ilamatepec mountain range, with coffee shaded by Inga trees. Jose encourages workers to plant beans between coffee rows as they provide additional food for employees and their families and fix nitrogen in the soil. Cherries are handpicked at peak ripeness and delivered to the on-farm wet mill. At intake, workers visually hand sort cherry to remove any damaged, underripe or overripe cherry. Cherries are placed in airtight bags and sealed to ferment for 68 to 72 hours. Bags are kept in the shade to control fermentation.
Following fermentation, cherries are transported to the El Carmen mill to sun dry on raised beds, where cherry is turned frequently to ensure even drying – it takes approximately 30 to 32 days.