Through the Sourcing Trip Experience (STE), we aim to bring roasters from around the world directly to where high-quality Salvadoran coffee is produced, encouraging them to build long-term business relationships in coffee sourcing.
It’s scheduled to run from March 12 to March 15, 2023, after which attendees will make their way to the Salamanca Exhibition Center in San Salvador for the two-day Producer & Roaster Forum.
For us, a crucial part of the STE experience is working with the right host sponsors for the role, like the distinguished and award-winning Los Pirineos farm located high in the Tecapa Chinameca mountain range of eastern El Salvador.
The legacy of Gilberto Baraona
Over the course of 130 years, Los Pirineos has become globally renowned for its excellent specialty coffees. It’s currently run by fifth-generation producer Diego Baraona, who took over following his father’s passing in 2020.
Gilberto Baraona was a larger-than-life figure in the specialty coffee industry, having won more Cup of Excellence awards than any other producer on the planet. In 2018, he was named El Salvador’s best coffee producer, a worthy title for a man who gave his life to specialty coffee.
Throughout his career, Baraona was dedicated to uplifting smallholder coffee producers and promoting the cultivation of high-quality coffees all over the globe.
Currently, the farm cultivates more than 70 different coffee varieties, including some originally discovered in El Salvador like Pacamara, Catisic, and Pacas. It’s also invested heavily in coffee processing, producing washed, honey, natural, as well as anaerobic and carbonic maceration coffees.
Overall, the farm has won more than 20 Cup of Excellence awards in the last 12 years, making it a world leader in high-quality specialty coffee production.
What can roasters expect at the Los Pirineos Sourcing Trip Experience?
Diego says that it’s always a pleasure to host fellow coffee professionals at Los Pirineos, providing him and his team with the motivation to keep performing at the highest level.
“I’m really looking forward to networking with potential coffee buyers and sharing and gaining insights into the entire specialty coffee chain,” he says. “I believe that El Salvador is an important country for roasters and other coffee professionals to visit.”
He explains that even though El Salvador is a small country, it’s home to many growing regions, each of which has its own unique terroir. Producers in El Salvador also grow a broad range of coffee varieties, although Pacas and Pacamara are the most commonly associated with the country’s coffee sector.
“Roasters will be able to learn about our focus on sustainability, as well as our passion and dedication for producing quality lots and always pursuing innovation,” he adds. “They will also be able to see firsthand the current problems affecting coffee production, such as climate change.”
Ultimately, Diego believes that the most valuable aspect of the experience will be the conversations it stimulates.
“We will be able to speak about all the challenges currently facing each of us in the coffee chain and hopefully we can find ways to solve or address them,” he concludes. “We will be able to understand and listen to each other and analyze how we can each be better at what we do.”
The Sourcing Trip Experience is meticulously curated to ensure that roasters from around the world are paired with some of El Salvador’s leading specialty coffee producers.
Over the course of the experience, roasters will have the opportunity to speak with producers at length about Salvadoran coffee production, tour their farms and mills, and sample some of the best coffee that El Salvador has to offer.
Some example activities that you can expect during the STE include:
- Farm tours, which will cover a range of different varieties and producer profiles
- Tours of wet and dry mills, where participants will see optical sorting machinery, depulpers, fermentation tanks, and other key equipment in operation
- Cupping sessions arranged directly with producers
- Roundtable discussions on industry challenges from both producer and roaster perspectives
- Networking opportunities with potential sourcing partners and roasters from around the world
- Organized dinners with local specialities/dishes