The Alvarez family has been growing coffee in El Salvador for a century and over four generations. Their award-winning farms are located on the lush green hills of Santa Ana, in the west of the country, whose rich volcanic soils and mild climate provide ideal conditions for growing coffee.
Finca La Reforma was established by Rafael Alvarez in 1892 on the rich, humid slopes of Santa Ana Volcano. Originally from Colombia, Don Rafael came to the region with some of his best coffee seeds and began a new legacy of coffee production. Four generations later, the Alvarez Diaz brothers manage the farms, which are planted exclusively with red bourbon variety coffee trees, despite recent upheavals with leaf rust.
El Borbollon mill is managed by Eduardo Alvarez, whose father passed down his technical skills. Of the 15 high-altitude farms, 10 have won places in the Cup of Excellence and 4, including La Reforma the COE Presidential Award for scores of over 90 points.
Clay patios are used as they have superior endothermic properties (absorption of heat) than concrete and thus regulate temperature much better. The coffee beans are dried for 9 to 10 days in this way and the slower drying time seems to improve the cup quality.
The meticulous attention to detail shown at every stage of production - from harvesting to wet milling to cupping - has enabled the family to continue through the struggles of the past 20 years.
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