I import the coffee that my family grows deep in the Salvadoran highlands straight to my customers in Europe. Since 2018, I have been roasting at the Röstwerkstatt here in Austria.
Zalvera Estate Coffee is naturally sweet coffee, with balanced acidity, and notes of orange, chocolate and panela. I roast on demand, in small batches, so you can be sure the coffee you get from us is as fresh as it can be.
For five generations, my family has grown coffee on the skirts of the volcano of Santa Ana. Our Heirloom Arabica coffee trees feed on the thick, dark volcanic soil that blankets the land surrounding the ancient crater. Our arabica trees are protected from wind by what we call “curtains” of native shade trees that are also home to thousands of migratory birds. The finca spans a little over 27 hectares and has been Rainforest Alliance certified since 2012; it sits 1200m above sea level. We are certified “Apaneca-Ilamatepec” specialty coffee growing region.
My great grandmother, Maria Alvarez, worked our finca until the 1960s. She was a coffee producer and writer. Even though she rarely left El Salvador, she knew that the two things she produced--coffee and words--could travel the world. It was her vision and her hope that these two things could bring the wealthy and poor parts of the world closer together naturally, without artifice. No coffee bean is anonymous; every grain of coffee grows in a land with history and is picked by a person with a heart full dreams, troubles, and hope. It was my great grandmother’s vision that when folks in North America and Europe drank her coffee, they would also have the ability to listen to the stories of the people who brought them that coffee from mountain slopes on the other side of the world, and that their purchases would directly affect those lives for the better.
That’s what I do today at Zalvera Estate Coffee. I believe that my great grandmother’s vision remains more relevant than ever. In fact, I named my company after her. Her pseudonym for over 50 years was Amari Zalvera (look closely: it’s an anagram of Maria Alvarez ). The finca was handed down to my grandmother, and then to my mother in 2001. My mother grows the coffee and prepares it for export at a local coffee cooperative. I import it to Vienna and roast it at the Röstwerkstatt. My family has stayed in the coffee business through the peaks and valleys of coffee prices, through plagues like roya and broca, through the upheaval of a 12 year civil war, through dictatorship, through democracy, and through spiralling crime. It’s what we do and who we are. If you want to get to know us better, you can! Follow the Zalvera blog, where I post updates on the growing calendar, as well as interviews and photos of the dozens of people who make your delicious cup of morning coffee possible.