Finca Bonanza is situated in the Santa Ana region on the foothills of the Ilamatepec Volcano. It is owned by a great friend of ours and an award winning farmer, Joe Molina. Joe is one of the most knowledgeable coffee farmers around and invests a lot of time in his farm. He is dedicated to coffee, particularly its genetics and possibilities of cross breeding to improve flavour. For the last two years, he has been growing a potentially disease resistant varietal nicknamed ‘Old Chap’ (a nod to his love of traditional English phrases!) which he has great hopes for in safeguarding the future of his farm against ‘Roya’ (leaf rust) – a disease which is sweeping across Latin American coffee farms, greatly affecting yield.
Finca Bonanza is only 10 hectares in size and produces around 150 bags of coffee a year. It grows red and yellow Bourbon and is Rainforest Alliance certified in recognition of its incredible flora and fauna. Much of the coffee is shade grown beneath avocado, inga and walnut trees and there is an incredible view of Lake Coatepeque from heights of 1490 metres above sea level.
Ripe red cherries are handpicked between January and March and taken to a collection point to be hand-sorted by pickers before being taken to the El Borbollon mill. On arrival, the cherries are emptied into separate tanks for different lots from farms around the region. Water is used to move the cherries up a pump and into a ‘Pacas’ depulper (of El Salvador origin) which works using a cylinder pushing against a metal wall to remove the skin of the cherry from the beans. The pulped cherry is composted with calcium and then re-distributed between farmers using the mill as fertiliser for the next harvest. The sticky beans are then moved in channels to fermentation tanks where they will rest for 13 to 15 hours and naturally present bacteria and microbes break down the sugars and alcohols in the mucilage of the bean.
The fermented beans are then moved to a washing machine whereby fresh water is used to remove any remaining mucilage and prepare the beans for the drying patios. All water is recycled and is used to move fresh cherries around the wet mill. The washed beans are then taken to the drying patios and kept separate by lot. They will lie there for around 8-10 days, though El Borbollon are experimenting with extending drying periods by laying the beans densely and covering them for parts of the day. It is believed that extending the drying time will result in more complex nuances in the cup.
The dried parchment beans are then left to rest for around a month and a half before being hulled to remove the parchment. Once hulled, the beans are hand sorted by a group of around 40 women who remove any defects. The women work in shifts, are paid above minimum wage and are highly skilled at their work – our lot from Bonanza will be left with 0-1% of defects. El Borbollon is Rainforest Alliance certified and has a great sense of social and environmental responsibility. All bi-products are recycled and water is treated in tanks to remove harmful chemicals before being released back into the environment.
The result of this meticulous farming and processing is a coffee that is beautifully sweet and complex with caramel and honeycomb flavour and notes of jasmine and peach.
We roast on a Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday / Post orders on a Thursday / You should get your coffee ready to drink on a Friday or a Saturday dependent on the good old Royal Mail service.
Get your orders in before 12pm on a Wednesday to ensure you have fresh coffee to drink by the weekend. If you need to get hold of some coffee outside of our roasting days then please feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Local pickups can be collected directly from our Roastery at Unit 33, The Boulevard, Leeds Dock, LS10 1PZ on a Thursday or Friday from 8:30am until 5:30pm. There is free parking parallel to The Boulevard on Chadwick St and there is a free water taxi directly to us from the train station along with several bus options. Unfortunately we cannot deliver your order to a local customer for you to collect from.