The story of Firebat begins with one of those apparently coincidental situations of everyday life.
Gustavo Castelar was a seasoned aviation industry executive with a strong passion for coffee that for 2013 had already been going on for over 10 years. His personal pursuit of high-quality coffees had him continually importing 5 lbs bags of green coffee for roasting and drinking at home, given the paradoxical difficulty of getting export quality coffees from his homeland, El Salvador, locally.
Rodrigo Giammattei had a prominent career in the world of coffee, both in production and in academics, serving as Director of the Coffee School at the Salvadoran Coffee Council. In 2013 he was already a coffee entrepreneur with a vast experience in areas such as coffee exports, coffee roasting, coffee shop consulting, coffee cupping and barista training.
It is at the end of 2013 while in line for an event at the school attended by their children, that a conversation began after Rodrigo, with his experience as a cupper, discovered by the aroma, that Gustavo was carrying 250gr coffee bag in a basket for the class teacher.
The conversation soon led to the question, why was coffee being imported with so much excellent coffee in El Salvador. The challenge was that the market for buying green coffee for home roasting was nonexistent.
That same day in the afternoon Gustavo visited Rodrigo’s lab, and little by little a strong friendship forged around the common love for coffee was developed, which gave birth to Firebat, not before buying together a 10 acre property located at 1,300 meters of height in the northern part of El Salvador which was christened Balam (Maya for Jaguar) and is planted with varieties of Pacas and Pacamara coffee.
The project took about 2 years from its initial conception to materialize, and we are convinced that betting on quality, knowledge, sustainability, passion as well as on the honest and transparent management of each link in the coffee chain, with particular emphasis on producers, is the right path to positively contribute to the development and growth of the coffee we love so much.