Bold Bean Coffee Roasters
El Salvador La Divina Providencia SL-28
A malted chocolate sweetness is complemented by notes of fresh and floral lemongrass, toasted hazelnut, ripe red apple and raw honey.
La Divina Providencia
On his Finca La Divina Providencia, Roberto Ulloa is growing some of the finest and most sought-after coffees currently coming out of El Salvador. Roberto comes from a generations-long coffee producing family that historically produced high-volume coffees on lower altitude farms.
Roberto takes a different approach with his mission to produce the absolute best coffee possible. Instead of focusing on higher volume, low-altitude coffees he began acquiring small-high altitude farms on the side of the Santa Ana Volcano. Finca La Divina Providencia sits at 1600-1950m above sea level and is planted in heirloom varietals under a heavy shade canopy. This, in conjunction with his sustainable production methods and extreme attention to detail in both cultivation and post-harvest processing, results in coffees that paint a clear picture of the full potential of Salvadoran coffee.
These are coffees that are untainted by the drive to produce higher volumes. They instead receive Roberto’s full and unwavering attention and are the product of his single-minded goal of producing low volumes of the very best coffees possible.
Roberto’s work is paying off. He won first place in the 2020 El Salvador Cup of Excellence and had 2 coffees place in the top 10 in 2023. The vast majority of Roberto’s coffees go to Asia, Europe and the UK so we are super stoked to have picked some coffees up directly through him and also through an auction that he hosted through coffee auctioneer M-Cultivo.
This specific lot is a washed SL-28. SL-28 is a bourbon-type varietal that was developed through selective breeding practices by Scott Agricultural Laboratories in Kenya in the 1930’s. The varietal is very highly regarded for its cup quality. Though fairly uncommon in El Salvador, it’s common for the very best coffees coming out of East Africa to be the SL-28 varietal.
With his washed processing, Roberto depulps the coffee and puts it into fermentation tanks immediately after harvest. The coffee then ferments for 24-48 hours depending on weather (cooler weather = longer fermentation, warmer weather = shorter fermentation) before being completely washed with fresh water and then moved to raised drying beds to dry for 3-4 weeks.
Roberto gives a lot of credit to his success in processing to the fact that he and his team manually move the coffee through the processing stages rather than using augers and mechanical pumps to move coffee through the mill. This type of machinery can damage the cellular structure and germinating parts of the coffee seed. This damage causes defects in the cup and decreases the seed’s lifespan.
When we visited with Roberto at the end of last year, as soon as we hopped into his Land Cruiser in San Salvador and started talking with him on the drive up to the farm we knew this dude was different and that he was on to something. The energy of someone who is laser focused on producing or doing something great is typically immediately felt. As we bounced up the narrow, rutted dirt roads that are carved into the side of the Santa Ana volcano the landscape is green everywhere and is studded with bright pops of tropical flowers. Driving through the dense forest just before reaching the farm a clearing provides a breathtaking view of the cobalt blue waters of Lago de Coatepeque, the 200-meter-deep crater lake, some 1000 meters below.
Pulling into the farm, mist shrouds the surrounding peaks while whisps of low-hanging clouds drift through the small valley that is home to the wooden farmhouse and raised coffee drying beds. A walk through the farm reveals almost perfect, dark green coffee shrubs growing under a dense canopy of shade and fruit trees. The clouds surround us as we walk through the coffee forest and slowly find our way back to the house. Just as quickly as they appeared, the clouds break and reveal azure skies and thickly forested, verdant green mountainsides as we sit for coffee on the front porch. Roberto tells us that on the farm the weather can change 30 times a day.
We spent the afternoon talking with Roberto about his vision for coffee and his land while walking the farm and checking out its many different lots that are primarily separated by varietal. Lot after lot revealed close to perfect coffee shrubs growing in a balanced ecosystem. Roberto's passion for his coffee and his farm is absolutely apparent in his words, the work he does on his farm and the quality of coffee in the cup.
We roast and ship Monday-Thursday.
Orders received before 9am typically ship same day.