El Salvador: La Siberia, SL34 [125g]

La Siberia

  • Flavour profile Red cherry, red apple, redcurrant
  • Process Washed + Carbonic Maceration
  • Varietal SL34
  • Roast Medium


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  • *Please note this coffee is part of our Special Reserve range and sold in 125g bags, not 220g*

    Finca La Siberia was originally named for it's cold temperatures and remoteness thanks to being perched on the hillside of a steep valley in the Apaneca Ilamatepec range at an elevation of 1,450 metres above sea level. These weather conditions mean slightly slower and later fruit maturation and we've always experienced very consistent quality from this farm.

    Perfectly located for growing high-quality coffee, La Siberia is planted with a range of newer varietals besides the traditional Bourbon including this variety, SL34, which is originally of Kenyan origin and shows distinctive, elegantly curved and widely spaced branches which make it easily identifiable on the densely forested hillside.

    This coffee comes from Rafael and Carmen Silva who were the first producers we met when we first visited El Salvador in 2003. Rafael primarily focuses on the running of the family's farms and Carmen focuses on looking after coffee buyers just like us. Nowadays they're also enjoying extra support from their sons Rafael Jr who's focussing mainly on their mill Beneficio San Pedro and Rodrigo who splits his time between sales and the mill.

    All the family’s coffees are processed at Beneficio San Pedro, one of the highest-elevation mills in the whole of El Salvador! As well as being really high up, the mill also has unusually high humidity which makes work there extra challenging. The San Pedro mill takes deliveries of freshly picked cherries and processes them in a wide range of ways. After processing, the coffee is dried in a mix of patios and raised beds, with each lot carefully monitored for humidity and temperature and tracked throughout it’s journey. It gets sampled throughout that journey, going for roasting and cupping at the quality control lab in the mill too.

    The name for the process of this coffee is made up of two parts - Carbonic Maceration and Washed. Coffee processing names can be confusing nowadays as there are often multiple parts involved so lets break this down - first off, what is Carbonic Maceration?

    It’s an idea borrowed from winemaking, where the fruit is put into a barrel and sealed up. This sounds like the same thing as Anaerobic (i.e. without oxygen), doesn’t it? Well, it is - the bit that makes it Carbonic Maceration is what happens next, as Carbon Dioxide is pumped into the barrel. This displaces any air in the barrel and is also absorbed by the fruit, which creates a change in the biochemical processes happening within the cherry.

    The second part of the name is Washed. That means that after about 2-3 days in the barrel, the coffee cherry is removed and taken to the wet mill. There the outer skin is removed by the depulper and the coffee is rested briefly before being rinsed clean of the mucilage, which by now has broken down and comes away easily. This is what makes a washed coffee - when it goes out to dry, there isn’t any mucilage left on the beans.

    And there you have it! Interestingly, some of the flavours wine tasters give to carbonic macerated wines are cherry or red berries - see if you think the coffee has a similar flavour (spoiler alert, we do).

    Red fruits all the way here, with bright and fresh cherries giving way to ripe red apple and a hint of redcurrant. The apple comes back on the finish and aftertaste with a long and lingering sweetness.

    • Country: El Salvador
    • Region: Santa Ana
    • Nearest city: Chalchuapa
    • Farm: La Siberia
    • Mill: Beneficio San Pedro
    • Producers: Carmen and Rafael Silva
    • Elevation: 1,450 m.a.s.l.
    • Size: 27 hectares
    • Average temperature: 18ºC
    • Average annual rainfall: 2,500 mm
    • Variety: SL34
    • Processing method: Carbonic Macerated Washed
  • Tasting notes: Red cherry, red apple, redcurrant.

    Cup of Excellence Cupping Scores

    • Clean Cup: (1-8): 7
    • Sweetness: (1-8): 6.5
    • Acidity: (1-8): 7
    • Mouthfeel: (1-8): 6
    • Flavour: (1-8): 6.5
    • Aftertaste: (1-8): 6
    • Balance: (1-8): 6
    • Overall: (1-8): 7
    • Correction:(+36): +36
    • Total (max 100): 88

      Roast Information
      Medium - push this through the gap and up to the edge of second, but a quick pace will let the vibrant acidity and fruits pop.

    • This coffee is sold in 125g bags, not our regular 220g bags.

      If you place an order before 07:30, it will be roasted and dispatched that day. If you order after 07:30, it will carry over to the following working day for roasting.

      We offer free UK mainland delivery on all orders over £50.00. One bag sent with First Class postage will cost £3.50, and one bag sent with Second Class postage will cost £2.00. DPD next working day delivery is available for a flat rate of £6.00 for all orders up to 10kg.

      For more information about delivery, please visit our Help Centre.

    La Siberia

    Carmen and Rafael Silva were the first producers we met when we travelled to El Salvador the first time nearly 20 years ago. We haven’t look back thanks to these incredible partners and the delicious specialty coffee they produce at Finca Siberia.

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    Finca La Siberia in Santa Ana, El Salvador

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