La Cumbre | SL-28 Natural | El Salvador
Part of on ongoing Producer series of microlots by Emilio Lopez Diaz.
Producer: Emilio Lopez Diaz
Farm: La Cumbre
Mill: El Manzano
Region: Santa Ana, Apaneca-Illamatepec
Altitude: 1500 - 1550 masl
Emilio Lopez Diaz is a truly special coffee producer from a family that has grown coffee for six generations in the rich volcanic soil of Santa Ana. Today, Emilio overseas a vertically integrated operation with multiple farms and export operations in El Salvador & Brazil as well as roasting and cafe operations in the United States. In 2018, Emilio won 1st & 2nd place in the Cup Of Excellence El Salvador in his first ever entry!
We've been buying from a relatively newer farm project of Emilio's - Finca Ayutepeque for the past 3 years, a coffee that shines in our Profiler Blend and this year we commited to a wide variety of micro-lots from El Manzano and La Cumbre and truly reap the rewards in the cup of his meticulous approach.
SL28 is among the most well-known and well-regarded varieties of Africa. It has consequently spread from Kenya, where it was originally selected in the 1930s, to other parts of Africa (it is important in Arabica-growing regions of Uganda, in particular) and now to Latin America. The variety is suited for medium to high altitudes and shows resistance to drought, but is susceptible to the major diseases of coffee. SL28 is notable for its rusticity—a quality meaning that it can be left untended for years or even decades at a time, and then return to successful production. There are SL28 trees in many parts of Kenya that are 60-80 years old and still productive.
SL28 was selected at the former Scott Agricultural Laboratories (now the National Agricultural Laboratories, NARL situated at Kabete—more information below). Individual tree selections made at the Scott Laboratories during the 1935-1939 period were prefixed SL. Fourty-two trees of various origins were selected and studied for yield, quality, and drought and disease resistance. SL28 was selected in 1935 from a single tree in a population called Tanganyika Drought Resistant. In 1931, the senior coffee officer of Scott Labs, A.D. Trench, conducted a tour of Tanganyika (now Tanzania). According to historical documents, he noticed a variety growing in the Moduli district that appeared to be tolerant to drought, diseases and pests. Seed was collected and brought back to Scott Laboratories, where its drought resistance was confirmed. It was widely distributed until superseded by its progeny, SL28. SL28 was considered the prize selection of this period of intensive breeding.
Recent genetic tests have confirmed that SL28 is related to the Bourbon genetic group. (Credit: World Coffee Research)