Henning lived for several years in El Salvador, working as a teacher. He is Co-Founder of the SAY ZONTE! project. Writing for this blog is his way to give s.th. back to “el pulgarcito.”
Coffee from El Salvador?
You’ve probably heard from Salvadoran Coffee! Maybe you’ve already bought some in your supermarket at home without knowing it.
Coffee from El Salvador was the countries number one export product for a long time until the competition from Asia and raising costs changed the game completely.
El Salvador’s coffee industry almost seems to lie broken. But there are still a lot of coffee plantations in El Salvador!
And it appears that the “third wave” coffee hype might give a chance to a new generation of coffee makers in El Salvador. Coffee from El Salvador is back!
When you are in El Zonte, you should not miss a coffee tour with Luis (aka “Rivas”). He’s El Zonte’s coffee enthusiast, and you will learn many interesting things about coffee. You will love it, even if you don’t drink coffee!
The best coffee from El Salvador is from El Zonte
Well, El Zonte is not a typical coffee region of El Salvador! 😉 But Luis, aka “Rivas,” makes it to one of the best coffees from El Salvador. Have a look at our video to get a first impression of what his project is all about:
Read more to get motivated for a mind-opening trip into the world of Salvadoran Coffee. But be warned: you might get picky after this tour! And you probably won’t be able to buy and drink the “cheap stuff” anymore and prefer the coffee from El Salvador instead. However, I can absolutely recommend his tours – we left with so much interesting information after it, and we didn’t feel bored not a single minute!
A coffee tour with Rivas from El Zonte
Getting started: With a coffee from El Salvador!
Without expecting much before we left El Zonte, I was surprised by what I didn’t know about coffee after this tour. Rivas offers different coffee tours. But we decided to do the first one – the “beginner” one.
Starting at El Zonte, we drove about one hour to a small coffee shop in Santa Tecla, a part of El Salvador’s capital (San Salvador).
We started with freshly brewed coffee and a small breakfast while Rivas explained to us more about the different coffee regions in El Salvador and the history of coffee.
The wizard of coffee: Rivas
We didn’t expect that there are so many details about coffee that we haven’t even heard about.
Rivas explained it all in a very interactive way: starting from the plant and the grains, we learned more about the coffee’s different quality and the roasting process.
Especially the coffee roasting was a lot of fun. Monitoring the temperature and the result of the roasting process, we learned that it is so much more complicated than just heating the beans.
And finally: The coffee tasting!
Finally, Rivas explained to us how to do a proper coffee tasting. We did well, but we think that there’s so much more to learn about the coffee from El Salvador.
We finally understood why it is called “third wave” coffee.
Coffee from El Salvador is a high-quality product that needs a lot of knowledge, dedication, and passion.
There’s no way to compete with all the big coffee producers around the world. So let’s give the Salvadoran Coffee a chance!
Visiting a coffee “Finca”
After finishing the coffee tour, we went to a “Finca” our way back to El Zonte. The Finca is lovely, and you will be able to see proper coffee plants, beautiful vegetation, and some hummingbirds if you’re lucky.
You will also get a decent lunch to be ready for your way back to El Zonte with some breathtaking views. So bring your camera!
Summary: Don’t miss it!
After all, we think Rivas is offering a fascinating and very informative tour. His local knowledge is astounding, and we will soon try the second part of his tour, which also includes “Ruta de las Flores.”
Our rating: You haven’t been to El Salvador without having tried real coffee from El Salvador with Rivas.
And please forget St%?bu(ks!
Duration: half a day
Costs: US$40 per person, includes transport
Lunch at the coffee finca included
Don't drink coffee in the morning for breakfast!
Bring: camera, sunscreen, proper shoes, some cash
Spanish learners: Watch out!
Rivas speaks perfectly in English and French – and in Spanish, of course. So if you’re taking Spanish lessons with us, he will also be able to do his tour in Spanish and adapt the information and his spoken Spanish to your Spanish level!
What are you waiting for?