El Salvador Finca Escocia SL-28 Washed Cup of Excellence

This Sunday we have a very exciting coffee on our brew bar for one day only - El Salvador Finca Escocia SL-28 Washed Cup of Excellence.

Country of origin: El SalvadorRegion: UsulutanFarm: Escocia - Caledonia S.AVarieties: SL-28Process: WashedBrewing method: Syphon

The farm where this coffee originates from was initially boughtbya Scotsman named Henry Adams Butter, who came to El Salvador from Dundee at the end of the 1800s. This is where the farms name - Escocia - comes from. The farm is now owned by Henry's granddaughter, Johanna.

The most interesting thing about this coffee is that it is an SL-28 varietal. SL-28 is usually only found in Africa, most commonly in Kenya. However, some farmers - including Johanna - have decided to experiment by planting SL-28 in Central Southern America. This coffee is a stunning example of how continued experimentation at origin can help to produce some truly unique coffees.

This is the first time in a few years that Has Bean have chosen to exclusively buy a Cup of Excellence lot. The Cup of Excellence is a stringent selection process and competition held in coffee producing countries. Around sixty of the best samples from each country are put before an international jury made up of some of the most influential coffee buyers in the world. The top ten samples are then sent to an internet auction and sold to the highest bidder.

This coffee is exceptionally sweet and smooth, a classic quality that we tend to associate with coffees from El Salvador. However, this coffee has an awful lot of depth and complexity. After an initial milk chocolate sweetness, it develops into a delicious acidity of tropical fruits and papaya.

We are preparing this coffee on Syphon this Sunday in order to highlight its delicate acidity and to accentuate the creamy body and mouthfeel. We are excited to offer our customers the chance to taste this unique coffee and hope you enjoy it as much as we have.

New coffee: Kenya, Kirimahiga, Washed AA


Kenya Kirimahiga Washed AACountry of origin: Kenya Region: Central Kenya Farm: New Kiriti - Kirimahiga Farmers co-operative society Varieties: Ruiru 11/ SL 32 & SL 28 Process: Washed Roaster: Has Bean Brewing method: Chemex Tasting notes: blackcurrant, creamy mouth-feel, red wine acidity

This is the second Kenyan of the year from Has Bean, and its a bit more of what you would expect from a Kenyan coffee compared to the Gachami we had on last: lots of blackcurrant and red wine notes that come from the SL 28 variety.

Kirimahiga is a washing station that is based within the New Kiriti farmers coop. The coop was started in 1987 and currently has 780 members who all elect a chairman. The coop is heavily involved with the Coffee Transparency initiative which aims to treat workers and suppliers ethically and fairly, protect the environment and promote economic transparency.

The coffee features the Ruiru 11, SL 28 and SL 32 varietals. SL 28 and SL 32 were developed in the Kenyan Scott Labs in the 1930s and are characterised by a lovely blackcurrant acidity. Despite having positive flavour characteristics, SL 28 & SL 32 are very prone to Coffee Borer Disease & Coffee Leaf Rust, and Kenya has a big problem with crops being wiped out by these diseases. Ruiru 11 was developed in the 80s to cross the 'flavour-positive' but disease susceptible SL 28 variety with the disease resistance of the Robusta strain, while also being significantly higher yielding. The problem with higher yielding crops is that the flavour characteristics in the fruit are in effect, spread too thinly. There have been complaints from Kenyan farmers that the Ruiru 11 variety does not produce as good a flavour as the SL 28 variety, but evidently this is down to the crops not being pruned aggressively enough. The more the plant is pruned, the less fruit is produced and the more flavour there is in the fruit.

Kenya Kirimahiga

Ruiru 11 has also been developed to grow in a much higher density of plants. The variety can be planted at a density of 2500-3000 trees per hector, whereas traditional varieties like SL 28 can only be planted at 1500 trees per hector.

Thanks to Steve Leighton from Has Bean for sharing his wisdom about Ruiru 11. If you're interested in reading more about Ruiru 11, check out this article on Coffee Review.


New Coffee: Kenya Gachami AA Washed


Kenya Gachami AA WashedCountry of origin: Kenya Region: Central Kenya Farm: Baragwi Farmers coop Varieties: SL28 & SL 32 Process: Washed Roaster: Has Bean Brewing method: Chemex Tasting notes: Ruby grapefruit, demerara sugar, lemon rind

This is the first Kenyan of the year and its here just in time for the sun. Kenyans are a great summertime coffee - they're characterised by being light, and often with citrus and berry notes.

Similar to the way coffee growing works in Ethiopia, the coffee is grown by a farmers coop and then processed in the Gachami washing station. It sits at around 1600-1800 meters above sea level, which is ideal altitude for growing coffee. The farmers coop that Gachami is owned by has another 11 mills within the region, and there are 1472 members. The farmers have on average one hectare of land to grow crops, and most are within walking distance of the Gachami mill.

The coffee is made up of the SL 28 and SL 32 varieties which were developed by the Scott Labs in Kenya in the 1930s and are hybrids of Bourbon and heirloom Ethiopian varietals.

We get ruby grapefruit with demerara sugar from this coffee. Its very refreshing - perfect for a sunny Edinburgh.