El Salvador

La Divina

Toffee / Panela / Full Body

Bean Details

Variety: Bourbon

Process: Natural Anaerobic

Producer: Roberto Ulloa

Country: El Salvador

Region: Ilamatepec, Santa Ana

Altitude: 1,800MASL

Roast Profile: Medium



This is our third year offering coffee from La Divina. Roberto Ulloa is a fourth-generation coffee producer with solid technical coffee farming skills and great passion for quality coffee. This particular coffee lot of bourbon beans was processed using one of the less common processing methods: anaerobic fermentation resulting in a final cup with low acidity, sweetness and complex cacao notes.

This bourbon anaerobic has a dense, full body packed with  mellow notes such as toffee, raw sugar (panela), chocolate and some cinnamon undertones. Due to its extremely low acidity we recommend this coffee for both filter and espresso, try 15:1 water to coffee ratio to start. Enjoy slowly to discover how the flavor layers change as the coffee temperature cools down. Great option for cold brew coffee as well.

Anaerobic fermentation is a process that enriches coffee bean’s original qualities. Fermentations have been used for centuries and in coffee it means that the glucose molecules are transformed in the absence of oxygen.

Although all coffees undergo some sort of fermentation, starting at the time harvesting the cherries. This lot of coffee was processed by immersing the intact cherries in special bags with a syphon valve prevent oxygen from entering and allowed to ferment for 72 hours. After the fermentation period, the cherries were sun-dried on raised beds undergoing natural processing. Learn more about the different processing methods here.

The story of La Divina farm is remarkable. With great vision for specialty coffee and an unwavering commitment, Roberto has done an incredible job of reviving La Divina coffee farm since he purchased it in 2007. About half of the 145 acres had been abandoned for nearly three decades, and over the years Roberto has been bringing the farm back up to production. La Divina today is planted with Kenyan (SL-28), Gesha, Red Bourbon, and Pacamara. Most of bourbon was lost to leaf rust (‘roya’ in Spanish) when the disease reached epidemic levels in 2013-14, Roberto has been replanting the lost areas since and particularly increasing areas dedicated to his favorite Kenyan variety. Roberto has built his own micro-mill on the farm to have control over the quality of processing to preserve all flavor characteristics of the crop. All beans are handpicked, and sun-dried on raised beds. La Divina provides permanent employment for 15-20 people year-round, and during picking season October through Ferbruary, some 40 to 60 pickers are needed.

La Divina is located in the Apaneca-Ilamatepec mountain range, near the three volcanos Cerro Verde, Izalco and Santa Ana and overlooking a large crater lake, Lago de Coatepeque. The region of Apaneca-Ilamatepec is known for its fantastic conditions for growing coffee due to its cool micro-climate and rich volcanic soils. The mountain slopes are covered in lush forest providing crucial habitat for migrating birds and fauna, and fertile volcanic soil has been generated throughout various eruptions. Unique, cool micro-climate in the region is created when the warm air from the Pacific Ocean collides with the high peaks of the Volcanoes Park. Coffee is a shade loving plant and the mist surrounding this region reduces the amount of sunlight the coffee trees receive, which helps to improve the ripening process which ultimately impact the aroma, sweetness, acidity and flavor in the final brew.

Apaneca-Ilamatepec mountain range was declared as biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 2007 as it is home to several unique volcanoes, hosts important ecosystems for conservation and has highly diverse habitat. Most of the existing forest covering these mountains are associated with shade-grown coffee production, hence supporting this type of agroforestry has an incredible positive impact on the region in preserving the nature and in providing economic opportunities.