El Salvador - Finca El Cerro Pacamara
El Salvador - Finca El Cerro Pacamara
El Salvador - Finca El Cerro Pacamara
El Salvador - Finca El Cerro Pacamara
El Salvador - Finca El Cerro Pacamara
El Salvador - Finca El Cerro Pacamara
El Salvador - Finca El Cerro Pacamara
El Salvador - Finca El Cerro Pacamara
El Salvador - Finca El Cerro Pacamara
El Salvador - Finca El Cerro Pacamara

El Salvador - Finca El Cerro Pacamara

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red apple, apricot, dark honey, chocolate brownie

Roast Profile

Producer: Fernando Escobar
Farm: Finca El Cerro
Location: Apaneca, Ahuachapan
Variety: Pacamara
Process: Natural Anaerobic
Altitude: 1,500 masl

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Finca El Cerro, or The Hill Farm, in El Salvador’s coffee-growing zone Apaneca, Ahuachapan, has been stewarded by five generations in Fernando Leto Escobar’s ancestral line.

In 2016, Fernando, who had studied for a different career at university and had been working in a distant industry, decided to take on the leadership role at the farm from his father, the elder Don Fernando to embrace a way of life that he felt to be instinctively aligned with his values.

Since taking over, Fernando has been focused on raising the quality and value of the farms’ yields, not only as a matter of sustaining livelihoods — theirs and the community of coffee workers that depend on Finca El Cerro for regular and seasonal employment — but also as a matter of filial and civic duty while pursuing his passion for coffee.

That is, to continue his family's stake in propping up El Salvador's heritage coffee industry, whose historical prominence has been hampered by structural constraints and environmental challenges at least in the last three decades.

To help prompt a resurgence of his homeland’s stature as a recognized fine coffee exporter, Fernando, through Finca El Cerro, produces exceptional micro-lots comprised of exotic varieties — including those recognized as native to the country, like the Pacamara, alongside the foreign, like the Geisha — that are eco-consciously cultivated, selectively handpicked, and tactfully processed to achieve cup profiles that coffee lovers find irresistible and can only identify with El Salvador.

Finca El Cerro’s higher-end specialty coffees are recognized and rewarded by specialty coffee communities across Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, China, and South Korea, with the recent addition of the UAE, as a result of Fernando’s persistent outreach to Fernando similarly motivated roasters who share his values.

As a small-medium sized farm themselves, Finca El Cerro’s contribution to uplifting their fellow coffee producers, irrespective of scale, is through proactive knowledge-sharing and hosting visits to the farm and their processing facility.

From Fernando’s standpoint, extending this generosity is merely an expression of gratitude and a means of giving back for the opportunities to learn and travel afforded to him by the seasoned producers who openly made their expertise and resources accessible to him.

At the same time, fully appreciating that the exceptional coffees Finca El Cerro is increasingly becoming known for would not be possible without the time, labor, and well-being of their community of workers, they have initiated a healthcare program for full-time employees at the farm and the mill, in collaboration with one of their partner importers, intending to expand its scope as the enterprise grows.

Pacamara is a hybrid of the Maragogype and Pacas varieties that originated in El Salvador. It is the result of crossbreeding conducted by El Salvador’s Institute of Coffee Research in the 1950s with the objective of creating a single varietal possessing both the desirable sensory qualities of Maragogype and the resilience and productivity of Pacas.

It is a variety that has consistently figured in the El Salvador Cup of Excellence every year.

Pacamara is considered rare for making up less than 5% of the country’s total production compared to more prevalent varieties like Bourbon and Pacas. Reasons for restrained Pacamara yields include the stringent cultivation conditions required for it to grow healthily and develop high cup potential, while also taking longer to ripen compared to other varieties.

This Natural Anaerobic Pacamara expresses glimmers of crisp juiciness complementing its rich, sticky sweet, and confectionary character.

The process started with handpicking only the coffee cherries at the optimal level of ripeness and sorting these further to ensure only the ones with good quality would go further into processing.

The oxygen-free fermentation phase was done by placing the cherries in 200-liter plastic barrels, with an airtight lid and a one-way degassing valve at the top, where they stayed for 72 hours. Throughout this period, the barrels were housed in a dark room where temperature was maintained at 16°C.

To complete processing, the cherries were first spread out on raised beds as a thin sheet and meticulously layered on more thickly every few days to incrementally slow down the drying until the target moisture level was reached after 45 days.

To prevent extraneous microbial activity, drying was managed by alternating sun exposure of the cherries with shade cover so there would be no counterproductive temperature spikes during the hot mid-day hours. And at night, the cherries were covered to avoid undesirable moisture brought by the evening mist that could have led to off-flavors.

brewing guide

- Ready your brewing tools ahead.
- Keep your coffee gear and containers clean.
- Decide and adjust your grind size based on:
— Your coffee’s roast date
— Your brewing method
- Be consistent with water quality and measuring weight, ratios, and time.
- Remember!
— Let your palate help you personalize the best recipe for you.
— Brew often and have fun!

More about Brewing here.


  • COFFEE GRIND SIZE: Medium fine
  • (like table salt; 21-28 clicks in Comandante MK4 and 14-18 clicks in Timemore C2)
  • COFFEE AGE: 7-14 days, ideally
  • COFFEE DOSE: 17 grams
  • WATER WEIGHT: 255 mL
  • TARGET BREW TIME: 02:30 - 03:00


  • DOSE: 18 to 20 grams 
  • YIELD: 32 to 36 grams 
  • TIME: 22 to 26 seconds
  • RATIO: 1 : 1.8
  • TEMPERATURE: 90°C - 93°C


  • DOSE: 18 to 20 grams 
  • YIELD: 27 to 30 grams 
  • TIME: 20 to 24 seconds
  • RATIO: 1 : 1.5
  • TEMPERATURE: 90°C - 93°C


1. Heat water to 90°C-93°C

2. Arrange your brewing set-up.

— Place your dripper on the carafe & filter paper in the dripper.

— Rinse the filter paper with hot water & remove the rinsing water from the carafe.

3. Switch on your scale.

4. Measure out 17 g of coffee & grind to Medium Fine.

5. Place the carafe and dripper with the rinsed filter paper onto the scale, & tare.

6. Transfer the ground coffee to the dripper; then, tare.

7. Start the timer!

First pour to bloom, 55ml for 30 seconds.

Second pour, 100 ml at 00:30.

Third pour, the final 100ml at 01:15

8. Target to finish the brew within 02:30 to 03:00 minutes.

9. Serve & enjoy!


- Align your brewing variables

- Adjust according to specifics of your situation, like your —

— Espresso machine settings

— Portafilter basket size

— Grinder

— Puck prep style

More here for tips to dial in on point spros.