Farm info

Los Pirineos belongs to Gilberto Baraona, a coffee producer with many accolades including 15 Cup of Excellence wins in El Salvador and recognition as the best coffee producer of El Salvador. Gilberto remains humble despite these accolades and devotes his work to improving coffee on the farm.

Los Pirineos farm is located on a stand-alone, cone-shaped volcano and enjoys a microclimate that is not replicable anywhere in the world. The farm is named after the mountain slopes of that geographically resemble those of the Pyrenees Mountains in Europe. It has a unique position between the towns of Berlín and Santiago, and most of the farm is planted with Gilberto’s favourite variety: Pacamara. He is an expert in cultivating and propagating this variety and has the only WCR certified nursery to sell the seeds. The remaining majority of productive coffee plants are Bourbon and Pacas varieties, but that is poised to change in years to come.

Currently, a large part of the farm is being renovated and planted with exotic varieties such as Geisha, Java, Rume Sudan, SL28, and five different varieties brought from Ethiopia. These varieties are first tested in the coffee variety garden, which features some 80 different varieties. There are some very intriguing varieties that have never been released for cultivation by the breeders such as Polisperma, whose cherries have up to ten seeds. The farm is also home to two mutations that are Gilberto´s best guarded secrets: Marageisha and Yellow Pacamara. These new and exciting plants will be producing in the next two years.

It is not only the growing microclimate that is unique, the drying facility is also a work of art. The drying beds are positioned between two peaks, creating a wind tunnel through which a breeze continuously passes. The beds are exposed to sun for twelve hours a day yet do not burn due to the cold winds. These factors lend themselves to the production of Natural and Honey processed coffees with a prolonged controlled fermentation. Coffee is exclusively dried on raised beds, which ensures the best physical quality possible and a long-lasting shelf life.

Region

Usulutan

The Cordillera Tecapa Chinameca streches from West to East throughout the Usulután department on southern El Salvador’s Pacific side. This mountain range is largely made up of volcanoes and is characteristed by its stark contrast to the dry plains farther south. The peaks rise up to 1600 meters above sea level and provide ideal circumstances for both coffee growing and drying. Despite its elevation, there is minimal rainfall during the harvest period from December to April.

Coffee farming has a long-standing history in the region but has been plagued by political turmoil since the late 20th century. The region’s roughly 3000 growers and processers produce 12% of the total supply of Salvadoran coffee, mainly of the Bourbon, Pacas, Pacamara, Catisic, Cuscatleco, and Catuaí varieties. Although Usulutan is responsible for a relatively small portion of the national production, the mountains of Tecapa Chinameca are recognized for the quality coffee they produce due to their unique position near the ocean, excellent elevation, and volcanic soils rich with organic material and nutrients.