White Rose Coffee Roasters - El Salvador San Antonio Amatepec
Robert heads up White Rose Coffee Roasters. Robert has many years coffee experiance and went to visit producers in Brazil last year on one of the Coffee Origin Trips. I met Robert for the first time last year when I want to visit the roastery, however I've know the family much longer.
Ken Cooper is, to say the least, a true ambasidor for coffee.
I first met Ken back in 2008 when he was judging and I was entering the Northern heats of the UKBC. He struck be back then as an extreamly knowledgeable and really welcoming person and the more I've got to know him, I've learnt this to be very true. Over the years I've compeated and then judged competitions with Ken, been to the pub after events and been to visit the roastery now and then in Halifax.
You can read all about Pennine Tea and Coffee by clicking here and White Rose is their their in house Roastery, roasting a Speciality Coffee selection. The coffee is roasted traditionally over a gas flame in small batches and they are proud to display the Made in Yorkshire badge for their Speciality coffee which is uniquely roasted in Halifax.
Pennine and White Rose stock over 45 coffees from around the world, so I was spoilt for choice here and there will be more coffees coming in the future. This one is a natural from Karla Boza in El Salvador, who I met when I was over there in February last year so it holds a special place in my heart.
San Antonio Amatepec is now run by three sisters: Alexandra, Daniella, and Karla (in order from eldest to youngest), who grew up going to the farm every other weekend. With time, and as their father aged the ladies became more involved. They started to attend workshops on coffee farming, coffee plagues, and have even taken gardening courses in order to better understand how to look after the farm, now visiting the farm not to relax, but to work.
The sisters oversaw the new implementations of different rainforest alliance strategies, looked after the harvest, and managed more of the marketing and relationship building with buyers. Most importantly, this year they finally took the necessary steps to process their coffee independently. They believe that this has been the most important change for their farm in the last few years - and if it were not for their encouragement and support their father would have never taken the jump as this is a very risky but important move for coffee producers to make.
Karla says “we have basically received a crash course on how to look after a farm, but of course, we have a long way to go. we have all realised how important it is for us to look after this space, as it has been so meaningful not only to us but to the local community as well”.
You can also see more from the farm on instagram
We asked Karla Boza Carbonell from the farm who is the certified Q-Grader - to give us some more information about this crop of coffee from the farm - this is what she said
" This coffee is a natural bourbon. It grows at 1,200 masl and was processed right at the farm. It's also certified by Rainforest Alliance, which demonstrates its responsible with the environment and the local community. My sisters and I are also members of the El Salvador chapter for the International Women in Coffee Association.
This coffee is really special to me because we don't have our own mill yet and this was the first year we did all of our naturals right at the farm! So that coffee was processed by our own hands, laid on the patio by me, and moved on the patio, for the next month or so, by one of our favorite employees, Don Rogelio ~ and occasionally by my nephew and niece! Part of our farm is located in what used to be El Salvador's only theme park. You used to get to the part that is now the farm through cable cars (like in ski slopes) and the platform where you "arrived" is what we now use as a drying patio!
The reason why the natural coffee is so special to me is because most of it was processed on Christmas Eve. This day is more important in El Salvador than Christmas day. During the holidays is when most of El Salvador's coffee is ripen, and since it doesn't stop ripening, we continue to pick it. We wanted to send that day's coffee to the mill so that it would get processed as a washed and we could send everyone home early. However, the mill told us that since the coffee gets processed at night and it was Christmas Eve, they decided to stop work that day. So we were left with hundreds of bags of coffee that we *had* to process that same day or else it would start to ferment.
We called a family emergency and decided that we'd processes what we could on the farm as a natural and send everyone home to their families. Our employees instead decided to stay with us and help us process the coffee and that way we'd end sooner. I went out and got everyone pastries that are common during the holidays and beers. We played Salvadoran cumbias (used this playlist) that are also very common during the holidays and we all decided to make the best of the evening.
We had never processed that much coffee before and we were sure we'd spend midnight at the farm. However, I think it might have been the beers and the cumbias that made us finish everything around 9PM, giving us enough time to go home, take showers, and go back to our families in time for the midnight celebration! A few days later we had our holiday celebration at the farm where we invited our worker's families and we were all talking about that night and how everything turned out well.
This night really demonstrated to me how much our employees value us and we took it as a sign to keep doing what we can to support them. I can understand how it can sound dramatic that employees are like family, but I think this is one example. I can't think of anyone else other than family that would risk their Christmas Eve to process coffee."
So this is a coffee with an amazing back story, and it represents the start of a new era for this Coffee Plantation in El Salvador. We are proud to be sharing with you three sacks of this years crop at San Antonio Amatepec, and if it proves popular we will be placing a bigger order next year to continue supporting Karla and her family.
Roaster - White Rose Coffee Roasters
Location - Halifax, West Yorkshire
Coffee Origin - El Salvador
Grower - Finca San Antonio Amatepec
Location - Calle A La Pedrera, San Salvador.
Process - Natural
Variety - Bourbon
Taste notes - Sweet Citrus notes with honey and chocolate
You can see the full range from White Rose Coffee Roasters and buy direct on this link and if you do - the code BeanDrinking will get you 5% off your 1st order.
You should also follow White Rose Coffee Roasters on Instagram