We are so lucky to have another great hit from The Alfaro Family. We previously had the Orange Bourbon varietal in the past and it was phenomenal. This selection includes 3 in 1: Orange, Yellow, and Red, hence the name Rainbow Bourbon. Just as a quick overview: Bourbon is perhaps the most famous coffee cultivar, having been imported from Yemen to Bourbon Island (now called La Réunion, located east of Madagascar) and eventually landing in the Americas in the mid 1800s. It's revered for its consistent quality and has fathered other famous varieties including caturra and catuai. Bourbon has several genetic offshoots characterized by the color of the ripe coffee cherries with red being the most well known.
With a name like Rainbow Bourbon, how could you resist? But the fun doesn’t stop there! The Alfaro family take this beautiful coffee one step further. Once picked, the cherries undergo 96 hours of anaerobic fermentation in airtight barrels and then go through natural processing for 20 days. Now, all that typically sounds like the making of a cup that might taste wild, overly funky, and even vinegary. However, the Alfaro family have perfected their craft to complement their hand-picked Bourbon varietals. Their careful practices result in a surprisingly balanced and clean cup, leaving out that sour, vinegary taste that can sometimes occur with anaerobic fermentation. Compare it to a well-aged wine as opposed to cheap wine.
We were blown away by this coffee! Not only is the cup refreshingly balanced, but you also get a nice, crisp brightness as well as a clean finish at the end. We noted a wide range of tropical fruits (including pineapple and lychee), as well as grape, watermelon, and lemonade. This also made for an intensely sweet cup coming from all those juicy, fruity flavors. This one is a must-try for sure.
Arrival Date: January 13, 2023 Harvest year: 2022
Acidity & Brightness: Crisp and intensely sweet
Balance & Finish: Fairly balanced with a clean finish
Body & Texture: Medium- to full-body and creamy texture
Flavors: Tropical fruit, grape, watermelon, and lemonade
Grade: SHG, Grown at 1300 masl
Processing: Anaerobic fermentation in cherry, dried as a natural on raised beds in the shade
Grower: Finca El Gobiado | Fernando Alfaro & Family | Agricola San Agustin
Region: Concepción de Ataco, Ahuachapán, El Salvador
Varieties: Orange, Yellow & Red Bourbon
Recommended Roast Range: City to Full City (Light to medium)
Start at City (light) or just about 30 seconds into rolling first crack. From there, go a bit darker if desired, but find it best not to go any darker than Full City (Medium or after the end of first crack and before 2nd crack starts). Most folks will prefer a City + or at the tail end of first crack. Lighter roasts will have more zesty acidity while medium roasts will accentuate more body and rounded sweetness. Longer rest times are recommended (72+ hours) for optimal brewing performance.
Royal Coffee - “El Salvador El Gobiado Rainbow Bourbon Anaerobic Natural is sourced from Finca Gobiado, a family-owned operation located near the town of Concepcion de Ataco in the Illamatepec mountain range within the department of Ahuachapan, El Salvador. Fernando Alfaro and his family has been cultivating coffee for four generations on the 37-acre farm. This combination of orange, yellow and red bourbon varietal is meticulously picked and sorted, and then placed in airtight barrels for 96 hours with selected microbes and carefully controlled temperature to ensure a precise fermentation. Next the cherries were placed on raised beds and turned regularly for more than 20 days to ensure gentle and even drying. The Alfaro family has discovered through years of experience that their bourbon varietal responds exceptionally well to being processed naturally and the method also saves a tremendous amount of water resources, which is good for the environment.”