El Salvador

Typically, coffees from El Salvador were well balanced with good sweetness and balanced acidity. However coffee producers that grow interesting varietals have managed to create very complex and characterful coffees. Discover more about El Salvador's history, processing methods and flavour profiles in our El Salvador coffee guide.


El Salvador's coffee industry, pivotal to its economy, began flourishing in the 1800s, overtaking indigo as the primary export. Despite historical challenges, including exploitation of small farmers and economic fluctuations, El Salvador emerged as an advanced coffee producer with modern processing methods, significantly aiding its development.

Processing Methods

Recently, El Salvador's coffee producers have adopted the "honey" process, drying de-pulped cherries without washing to produce a honey-like mucilage. This method, varying in mucilage quantity, enhances flavour diversity.

Producers also focus on natural processing, particularly with single varietals for micro-lots, and experiment with techniques like carbonic maceration and anaerobic fermentation for unique flavours. The country's ideal coffee-growing conditions - hot climate, high altitude, and rich soil - contribute significantly.

While most coffee is semi-washed or wet-hulled for mass-market low-grade specialty coffee, innovative methods like double soaking and complex washed processes are emerging, influencing flavour by adjusting fermentation times.

Flavour Profiles

The flavour profile of El Salvador specialty coffee is typically gentle and well-balanced, characterised by sweet and subtly acidic notes. Innovations in varietals and processing have led to more complex and diverse flavours.

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