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4/13/2012
Francesco Sanapo
Finca Matalapa - El Salvador

Finca Matalapa is very well know by experts, mostly Americans; in fact, it’s one of the coffees included in the Intelligensia catalogue. For those who don’t know, it’s one of the most important micro roasters (actually, it’s not micro any more) in the United States, and it’s known also for having supported Michael Philips, later world champion, during the world barista championship in 2010. The owner is Ms. Vicky Dalton de Diaz, a woman full of energy and passion, key element for the final result in the cup: she’s the living example

of the fact that coffee has, first of all, to be loved and then to be sold.

Finca Matalapa is located between the Cordillera of Balm and Desapositan Valley in the Libertad area, not far from the capital city San Salvador: trees’ cultivation ranges from 1200 metres high up to 1350 metres.

Before starting our visit, we immediately tasted the three coffees produced by the finca: caracol, zaranda and matalapa. All three are composed of two varieties, pacas and bourbon, but processed differently.




These are the notes from my  notebook and my personal score:

Matalapa: extremely clean coffee, medium body, good sweetness, fruity (lemon; orange; peach and apricot syrup), score  #85,5

Zaranda: pleasant aroma, strong critical hints (grapefruit, lemon) with very interesting hints of cocoa and peach, great balance in cup, score  #86,5 

Caracol: great floral aroma characterized by great sweetness, honey and orange peel, with a pleasant aftertaste characterized by hints of cane sugar and marzipan. A concentrated juice with great body and strong intensity, score  #87,5.

After tasting, we visited the El Paradiso mill, where I noticed the great level of attention used while processing the drupes: excellent technology and precision (optical machine; densimetric machine; manual select) are widespread in finca Malatapa. Plus, I’ve been surprised by the very low consumption of electricity: half of the energy used is generated by a big steam engine, which creates pressure for generating the energy which is needed to operate the machineries. I hope I managed to explain this concept correctly and simply.

While visiting the finca, I could admire with my own eyes its marvelous position and in order to let you try, at least in part, to live  the extraordinary emotions that I felt, soon a video that lets you appreciate even more the charm of this place will be available. Their harvesting had finished a few weeks before, as Ms. Vicky told me, specifying that it wasn’t a great year for production, considering that the previous year the amount collected was the double, but apart for that, she felt proud of the extraordinary quality obtained, and I can certainly confirm that!!!
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