Monte Verde – Rene Contreras
Rene Contreras operates Finca Monte Verde, a lush coffee farm in the northwestern corner of El Salvador that stands in the shadow of the Chingo Volcano. Mr. Contreras has developed the volcanic soil of his family farm to produce healthy Bourbon and Pacas coffee trees, which provide a uniquely sweet taste profile that includes distinct maple, hazelnut and tropical fruit flavors.
This lot is a prime example of a clean, washed-process El Salvadoran coffee that is delicious in any brewing method. Brew using a French Press to taste classic nut and chocolate notes, or a filter method to highlight the delicate fruit notes underneath the hazelnut flavor.
- Origin: El Salvador
- Producer: Rene Contreras
- Farm: Monte Verde
- Region: Santa Ana
- Zone: Canton Monte Verde, jurisdiction of Candelaria de la Frontera
- Process: Washed
- Elevation: 1200 masl
- Variety: Bourbon & Pacas
- Tasting Notes: Milk Chocolate, Tangerine, Vanilla, Cashew, Maple, Hazelnut, Vanilla, Caramel, Toffee, Light Tropical Fruit
- Harvest Year: 2022
- Importing Partner: Keffa Coffee
- Partnership length with Firelight: 5 years with Keffa, 2+ years with Monte Verde
- Brewing method recommendation: Batch Brew, French Press, Aeropress
Rene Contreras grew up listening to the stories of his grandparents about how they formed what what would eventually be called Finca Monte Verde. The farm, which lies only 93km from the capital city of San Salvador, outside the smaller city of Santa Ana, is a paradise among the clouds surrounded by majestic vegetation and fauna. It truly is a beautiful family project, a legacy of sacrifice built on a passion for coffee that has lasted over 100 years.
Mr. Rene has overseen significant farm improvement on the 36-hectare farm such as diversifying the varieties of coffee, implementing better post-harvest practices, and new processing techniques such as honey, natural, controlled fermentation. The mill employs 30 people year-round and up to 150 during the peak harvest season. Today the yellow and red bourbon coffee trees grow in the rich clay soil, providing a home for creatures like rabbits and hummingbirds. Rene and his family are deeply invested in their community – his wife is a doctor who provides health care locally, and the family operates an animal sanctuary on the farm, taking in stray and neglected animals.
Being a coffee grower in El Salvador has not been an easy task. However, teamwork, perseverance, and love for his family have given Rene the necessary tools not only to produce a coffee of excellent quality but also to grow as an independent coffee grower.