Central American coffee has always fascinated Extract Coffee Roasters co-founder David Faulkner. We love to roast incredible El Salvadoran coffees as part of our limited edition coffee range. Here's a story of our trip to Jasal Mill when we visited El Salvador in 2017..
Deep in El Salvador's heart, the Jasal Coffee Mill has been operating on the same site for more than 120 years. Most of the original buildings in use today were built by the current owner's great grandfather in 1905 and have been lovingly restored over the years.
But despite its historical past, the mill is very forward-thinking. The mill deftly balances past and present, from experimenting with exotic and hybrid arabica to rediscovering lost farming techniques from their ancestors.
Today, they work with organic principles to improve farm health and are re-learning traditional El Salvadorian coffee farming techniques. The mill is also concerned with environmental practices, pioneering environmentally sustainable ideas by minimising their water usage.
Innovative coffee farming
They use machines to mechanically remove the mucilage - meaning that they don't have to soak the beans in water to ferment the mucilage off. This massively reduces water use, but it also allows them to get a cleaner, brighter cup profile because the coffee is not having to ferment before it's dried.
This also helps improve crop yield as the reduced risk of the product being over fermented and unsaleable means farmers can sell more of the crop. Jasal Mill also harvests all of its water from the patios when it rains.
Innovation runs through the heart of Jasal Mill. They use techniques from across the world to improve the coffee's quality and yield: for example, African dried beds.
The mill uses raised African beds to experiment with processes like red honeying. Everything is meticulously documented so that experiments can be easily replicated and scaled up when a successful flavour profile is discovered. They also use floatation tanks using tiles rather than concrete and anti-mould grouts, which reduces contamination at the first point of contact.
Visiting coffee farms and mills, like Jasal are incredible experience and really helps us to understand the techniques which make this coffee taste so good.
Check out our latest limited edition roasts and new coffees from Central America in our online shop.