In season is a new harvest of the fruity Pacamara coffee for Cerro Los Tamales. Grown by the Cup of Excellence-winning Reyes family at Los Planes in El Salvador, the coffee is grown on a very special hilltop with a history dating back to Sergio Reyes' childhood.

Twenty years ago, Sergio Ticas Reyes took over a small farm in the mountainous Chalatenango region in northern El Salvador from his grandfather. Together with his wife Isabel, he began growing coffee in an area that was not at all associated with quality. Therefore, more than one coffee enthusiast's eyebrow was raised when Finca Los Planes came second in the 2006 edition of the Cup of Excellence. Sergio and Isabel's efforts are a direct reason why coffee from the Chalatenango region is now a sought-after commodity in the specialty coffee market.

At the family's own processing mill, the coffee is wet-processed with fresh water from local sources, while a ratio of one coffee tree per shade tree ensures healthy and sustainable biodiversity. They have cows and other livestock, and the farm's coffee berries and shade trees are home to deer, ducks and a wide range of rare bird species.

Our coffee Cerro Los Tamales is made from pacamara beans and is grown on a hilltop of the same name. The hilltop, 'Cerro', is named after a story from Sergio's childhood, where three of his grandfather's cows suddenly disappeared one day.

The cows remained missing, and searched for them for several days. After finding traces of banana leaves, they finally found the remains of the cows' bones and traces of rustlers, who had slaughtered the animals and disappeared. The banana leaves came from the dish Tamales, which the thieves had eaten. Tamales is a traditional dish consisting of corn dough with various fillings wrapped and steamed in banana leaves. The mystery was solved, and since then the saying has been "let's search Cerro Los Tamales!" when a cow is missing.

Cerro Los Tamales is located between 1600-1675 meters above sea level and the coffee plants grown here are approximately fifteen years old. The bean type that grows here is described by Sergio as an excellent pacamara, with notes of citrus and chocolate. Pacamara is a hybrid between maragogype and pacas and originated in El Salvador over fifty years ago.

The hilltop overlooks the mountains of Honduras, which the Chalatenango region borders. The coffee plants stretch across the hilltop and an area of approximately seven hectares (70,000 m2). The plantation is carefully maintained and cared for, and a lot of work and dedication has been put into the plants to grow the best pacamara beans available.

We at Solberg & Hansen are proud to have worked with the Reyes family for several years, and the latest harvest of Cerro Los Tamales does not disappoint. It smells of dried fruit and caramel and is a full-bodied coffee with flavors of red berries and plum, with an aftertaste of chocolate.

You can buy Cerro Los Tamales here.