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Visting Finca San Francisco, near Juayua El Salvador.

I love this coffee, it has the perfect balance of full creamy body, sweetness and acidity.  If there's a venn diagram of what everyone likes about coffee this one is right at the center.  Basically, that kid in high school that everyone wants to be friends with.  But there’s more to it, this coffee and I, we have history.

See, I’ve been drinking this coffee for about 13 years now.  Going all the way back to my first job out of college at a small roaster in Texas.  After a couple of years of us buying from Finca San Francisco, my boss arranged for the farmer, Jose Antonio Salaverria to come visit.  He was the first coffee producer I ever met, and I was starstruck.  Fast forward 3 more years, and I’ve moved to New York to become a coffee buyer, and what coffee do I find on our menu when I arrive?  None other than this very same coffee, so as I planned my first origin trip, I knew that this had to be the place.

Dan Streetman and Jose Antonio Salaverria on the Finca San Francisco coffee farm of El Salvador.  Clouds and mountains in the background.

I was welcomed by Jose Antonio to his home after a long day of travel, we ate chips and salsa, shared a beer, and he opined about sustainability for coffee producers.  The next day, we’d drive through the farm, eat a lunch of bean and cheese sandwiches on a scenic outlook (see photo above) all while he liberally shared what his family had learned in their three generations running this farm.  The next year, I’d meet 2 of his sons, Jose Antonio Jr, and Andres because Jose Antonio Sr was ready to retire.  Jose Antonio Jr would be running the farms, and Andres focused on managing their clients.  The fourth generation was now in charge.

Jose Antonio Jr, and Andres are about the same age as I am, so we hit it off, sharing our experiences through random texts, as we got engaged, married and later had kids.  I’d attend one of their weddings, and every year we had a few days together. I learned so much from them about coffee farming and processing, and they always indulged me, when I’d sneak out to the wet mill after dinner to watch the coffee processing through the night.  Translating for me, my attempts to ask questions of the mill workers in my broken Spanish.  In turn they’d ask me to cup the coffees from the farm they were starting together or about what was happening in the US market with coffee roasters, or what I had seen on other farms in my travels to various countries.

Andres Salaverria inspecting honey processed coffee, at the JASAL mill in Las Cruces El Salvador.

Years go on, and things change, but some things stick with you.  This coffee has been with me, through 4 jobs, living in 3 states, getting married, having kids, and now starting a company. Jose Antonio Jr moved on from the family business about a year ago, but when I bought this coffee I texted Andres to share the news.  He instantly responded with enthusiasm sharing well wishes for our new endeavor and how proud he was that we had chosen their coffee to be our first.

In that, I hope it will be the first of many more years to come.  Cheers Andres, hope to come visit you and Finca San Francisco again very soon.

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