The 2011-2012 coffee harvest has officially begun at Beneficio El Manzano, in Santa Ana, El Salvador; receiving its first two batches of bourbon cherries on the twelfth of September from farms: Finca El Manzano and Ayutepeque.
After processing and drying, the pergamino, or parchment coffee, is bagged in burlap and transferred to the bodega, or warehouse, for thirty days to await hulling, the process of removing the parchment, or dry pulp, from the beans. (Complete details of the Milling Process at Beneficio El Manzano).
Then, this past thursday, Eduardo, from quality control, or the lab side of the company, hulled and roasted samples of both batches for Cuatro M's first cupping of the season, performed by himself and three of us others, including Emilio, the owner.
While evident of the early harvest, the cupping was, in itself, ceremonial of beginnings, for Cuatro M, of a promising new season that will certainly surpass those before in quantity and always expectantly in quality; and for me, of new tastes within the cup, new characters within the story, and a new side of the mountain I'd only ever talked about exploring.