The Real Coffee Experts
Pacamara and Pacas
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These are dependable coffees yet mostly undistinguished, and they tend to be softer and exhibit less acidity than the typical Central American coffees. This does vary, with some coffees exhibiting a bright acidity. However, the generally gentle acidity as well as the coffee’s balance and honey-like sweetness have made El Salvador coffees a great choice for use in coffee blends, making it smoother.
The cupping profile varies by region, depending on the processing method used and varietal grown. Among the more popular regions:
• Alotepec Metapan: Medium acidity, high flavor
• El Balsamo Quezaltepec: Full body, lots of flavor, medium acidity
• Tecapa Chinameca: Good body, high flavor and aroma, medium acidity
• Cacahuatique: High acidity, high aroma, medium body and mild flavor
• Chicontepec: High flavor, medium acidity, full body and mild aroma
• Apaneca Ilamatepec: Full body, high acidity, high flavor and aroma

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In the past El Salvador’s ability to consistently produce quality coffee was affected by political instability. However, in recent years El Salvador has been gaining a reputation for being able to produce some of the best gourmet single-origin arabica coffees. These coffees are processed then the export process is managed by brokers and distributors, who work with green coffee importers in countries like the U.S. and Canada to clear customers and manage the shipping process (literally, by ships) in bulk – 45,000-lb containers.
The green coffee importers then separate the 132-lb bags into smaller wholesale lots of unroasted green coffee beans so that coffee roasters can then roast for brands and blends.
A number of varietals are grown in El Salvador:
• Pacamara: Physically a large fruit and seed. Good body, aroma and acidity and exceptional flavors.
• Pacas: Physically has larger leaves than a Bourbon tree. Excellent body, aroma and acidity with good flavors – should be cultivated above 1,000 meters.
• Bourbon / Tekisic: Physically has large fruit and seed – high yield, normal leaves, less dense than Pacamara. Excellent body, aroma and acidity and more balanced attributes.
• Catimor: Physically similar to Pacas, resistant to coffee rust. Has the most body of all coffees grown in El Salvador, is similar to Sarchimor.
• Sarchimor: Physically similar to Pacas, resistant to coffee rust. Body is also the most prominent feature.
When buying El Salvador coffees, get them whole bean and grind just before brewing, and buy fresh roasted from a roasting company, and not off-the-shelf from retail stores or Amazon.

Coffees from El Salvador, which shares a border with Guatemala and Honduras, tend to have a goodbody yet a relatively uneventful flavor and acidity.
Growing Altitude: 1,200 – 1,500 meters above sea level
Arabica Variety: Bourbon, Pacas, Pacamara, Caturra, Catuai, Catisic
Harvest Period: October – March
Milling Process: Washed, Sun-dried
Aroma: Sweet (fruity), Floral, Spice
Flavor: Sweet (honey), Citrus (tangerine), Chocolate
Body: Round
Acidity: Bright, Sweet

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