El Salvador

Carlos Pola Black Honey Anaerobic

Producer Carlos Pola has dedicated his life to revolutionizing specialty coffee production. Carlos leveraged his background in the textile industry to develop a traceability application, establish new quality control procedures on his lab and determine the best ecological methods for promoting plant growth. And he’s not stopping there. Carlos continues to work with as many farmers as possible to help them adopt his practices on their own farms. 

Details

Coffee Grade:
Carlos Pola Black Honey Anaerobic
Farm/Coop/Station:
Finca Las Brisas
Varietal:
H2 - Farm Hybrid
Processing:
Anaerobic Honey
Altitude:
1,200 to 2,030 meters above sea level
Owner:
Carlos Pola
Subregion/Town:
Juayúa Municipality, Sonsonate
Region:
Apaneca-Ilamatepec Mountain Range
Farm Size:
119 hectares
Area Under Coffee:
98 hectares
Harvest Months:
October - March

About This Coffee

Carlos Pola descends from a family of coffee farmers. He purchased Finca Las Brisas in 1997 while he was working in the textile industry. By 2012, he switched to working in coffee full time. His vision is to produce sustainable specialty coffee by applying his textile industry experience of quality control, efficiency and data management to coffee production on Finca Las Brisas.  

The farm has its own lab for experimenting with new processing methods, quality control and educating farm workers in specialty coffee. 

Carlos believes in supporting his community and helping as many farmers as possible embrace specialty coffee. He has channeled his passion for traceability into an applicable that traces coffee from the day it is harvested to the shipping lot.

Cultivation

When Carlos dedicated himself to producing coffee fulltime in 2012, he renovated the farm to create a farm focused on a dramatically new, sustainable and cost-effective production. Carlos has substantially reduced the farm’s use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers by adopting a specific combination of scientific theory and coffee producers know-how. Trees are planted in double rows and shaded by nitrogen-fixing trees. Carlos has even spread specific fungi that have symbiotic relationships with coffee trees and can actually help trees be more efficient at absorbing nitrogen and phosphorus.

Harvest & Post-Harvest

Cherry is selectively handpicked and placed in plastic tanks with airlocks that create an anaerobic (oxygen-less) environment while preventing pressure build up in the tank. Carlos is always seeking to further improve his process and has been experimenting with differing amounts of fermentation since 2016. This lot fermented in the tanks for 72 hours.  

Following fermentation, cherry is pulped and then dried on a raised beds with remaining mucilage for about 18 days. Dried parchment is stored on the farm for several days and then transported to Cooperative La Cuzcachapa in Chalchuapa, Santa Ana to be prepared for export.   

In line with his focus on ecologically-sound methods, Carlos only uses honey, natural and controlled fermentation processes to help reduce Finca La Brisas’ water consumption. Any water used in processing is carefully treated to reduce its environmental impact. Water is anaerobically fermented in sealed tanks where solids are broken down. This nutrient-rich solution is used to spread the fungi that support symbiotic nutrient uptake in coffee trees.

H2 - Farm Hybrid

H2 - Farm Hybrid was developed by Angel Cabrera, a geneticist at Instituo Salvadoreño para la Investigacion de Café (ISIC) who also developed the well-known Pacamara variety. Over 40 years of testing and advancing this variety on Finca Las Brisas, this H2 - Farm Hybrid is rust resistant and has been uniquely adapt to flourish in the farm’s microclimate.

Coffee in El Salvador

Don’t be fooled by El Salvador’s small size. It was once the 4th largest coffee producer worldwide and continues to produce high quality lots. The country is known for its great cupping varieties, such as Bourbon and Pacamara. In fact, two beloved, frequently high-scoring varieties—Pacas and Pacamara— originated in El Salvador. 

Unlike other countries, where specialty coffee production has required a great deal of additional investment and training, El Salvador already has a broad and skilled specialty coffee workforce. Farming traditions run deep, and many Salvadorian farmers are extremely passionate about coffee production and continuously strive to improve their crop. El Salvador has optimal conditions for coffee processing. The prolonged dry season typically occurs during the harvest season, making it easier to sun dry coffee. 

Though coffee output in the country has been declining for over two decades – exacerbated by the CLR crisis – the approach to coffee production has changed from volume- to quality-driven. A new generation of coffee producers has sprouted around the country with a new vision and approach to production. Many of this generation are experimenting with processing and varietals.

Read More

Want to learn more & access marketing materials?

Create an account to request samples, manage your inventory, request DO’s, download media assets and much more!

Create My Account