Coffee's Hidden Treasure
El Salvador Bernardina Natural #1124
8 oz whole bean light coffee
By Cloud City Roasting Company
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If you've never heard of El Salvador Bernardina before, get excited! I couldn't wait to share this rare and special lot with you. We only have a small amount of the exclusive Bernardina, a varietal produced by only one family, and only one farm, in the world. The story will blow you away, and the coffee? It's a true masterpiece of sugary peach, floral jasmine, and rich caramel. It's well worth the hype... and then some!
Bernardina is a unicorn of coffee, a brand new gesha hybrid varietal that was discovered by accident on the foggy slopes of El Salvador's Cerro Verde volcano. The story goes like this: the Pacas, a longstanding coffee-growing family, purchased the Los Bellotos farm in 2012. As a coffee farm, it was already established and well-maintained, but it had a hidden treasure: a small group of coffee plants that appeared different from the rest. The farm manager, Ruperto Bernardino, had already pointed these out to the former owners, who just mixed them into the larger harvest. But the Pacas family is dedicated to specialty coffee, and wanted to investigate. Once the coffee was harvested, it was clear they'd found something special. While the beans were being processed, an overwhelmingly sweet and fruity aroma filled the air. According to Maria Pacas, even their truck driver wandered over to see what smelled so good. Upon cupping, the flavors were crisp, floral, full of tropical fruit and citrus notes, unlike anything they'd had before. An amazing discovery!
But what to make of this mystery? This new coffee tasted like the famed Gesha varietal, delicate and distinct, but the plants didn't look like Gesha. So the family sent it to a lab in Italy to determine its genetic provenance. Turns out, the plants represent a brand new varietal! They are wild hybrids, part Gesha, part Agaro, and there were just a handful of them on the farm, hidden in plain sight for 70 years. The family named the coffee Bernardina, after the manager who had discovered them. Only grown by one family, on one small farm, Bernardina coffee stayed under the radar for a couple years, until the "mysterious new varietal" won 3rd place at the 2019 El Salvador Cup of Excellence. This sort of thing only comes around once in a blue moon (or should we say, a "brew" moon).
Bernardina is still only grown by the Pacas family, at Los Bellotos farm, making it one of the rarest, and most exclusive, coffees you'll ever try. They only produce a small amount each year, and they're snapped up immediately. When Jill from Cloud City contacted me a few weeks ago, telling me she'd gotten her hands on a small lot, I almost fell off my chair. This is a natural-processed lot, with a bright aroma and lots of caramel sweetness. The profile is delicate, heady with jasmine, like a classic Gesha coffee, but with a depth like panela, or raw sugarcane. As it cools, you'll taste the syrupy fruit, like canned peaches or apricot nectar. Maybe a dusting of cinnamon or nutmeg in the clean, rich finish.
Thanks to Cloud City Roasters, we're excited to offer a small lot of Bernardina for Bean Box customers, just in time for the holidays, or as a gift to yourself! Don't delay: we only have ~100 bags of this rare and special roast, and it's bound to sell out fast. Reserve your bag of El Salvador Bernardina Natural, and enjoy your own sip of coffee's latest and greatest hidden treasure.
Available as 8oz bags, whole bean or freshly ground, while supplies last. Limit 3 per customer.