Juan Jose Ernesto 'Neto' Menéndez Argüello belongs to the fourth generation of coffee farmers in his family. After completing his studies at university, Neto had the opportunity to start working in the coffee industry at J. Hill & Cia in 2000. He left J. Hill & Cia after five years and began his second coffee experience at Jasal Café El Salvador.
Both companies gave him the opportunity to meet 'Grano de Oro' from another perspective, allowing him to learn the art and passion of cupping. He says those are very important in his life, and that they give him the opportunity to apply the coffee knowledge and experience he's gained through the years.
During his time in the coffee world, he has participated in various events like the Cup of Excellence (National Jury from 2003 to 2011), Q Auction, Q Grader, and the Star Cupper program organised by SCAA and CQI.
When Neto bought the Los Andes farm, he discovered that the previous owner of the farm had planted SL28 trees on the land which they had brought home with them after a hunting trip in Kenya around 60 years ago! In amongst the SL28 plants grows Bourbon too, and some of those trees are even older still, at around 80 years.
Similar to the Wild Forest Project area of Las Brumas (another of Neto's farms that we've nabbed coffee from in the past) at Los Andes everything is left to grow "wild". Instead of clearing the land to give him a blank canvas for a new coffee growing area, he's working with the forest which not only means super special and tasty coffee but also helps to protect the local flora and fauna.
There's a lovely toffee sweetness to this coffee, with delicate mixed fruit notes coming through as it cools. That starts as a delicate mandarin, then moves into dried apricot pieces before finishing with a little shoulder of grapefruit.
Roasting Information Medium to medium-dark - through first and give it time to develop that toffee sweetness, but keep it a little lighter than most Salvadorian coffees and only just up to the edge of 2nd before it's dropped, so it keeps that delicate fruit.
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