About Cafe Sol y Mar ...
Hi, I am Elba, the coffee roaster. I grew up in El Salvador on a small coffee farm that belonged to my step-grandfather. From an early age, I learned how to harvest coffee and watch my cousins roast and brew the coffee beans. I picked ripe coffee beans off of their branches when the season was just right. These experiences helped me understand the process that goes into making the coffee that we all know and love.
After starting a family of my own in Canada, I returned to El Salvador with my youngest daughter to show her where I grew up.
I saw how the surrounding villages still experience daily life in poverty and I wanted to do something to help.
Now I roast Central-American coffee beans as a way to give back to the coffee pickers while providing a fresh source of quality, fairly traded grains.
Our goal at Café Sol y Mar is to acknowledge the hard work of small coffee farm pickers, who spend long days working in the fields, often on the slopes of steep hillsides, where the coffee trees thrive. The coffee pickers spend all day hand-picking ripe coffee cherries off the branches of the coffee trees. No tools are used to clear out the coffee cherries from the trees, unlike the harvesting of other fruits such as grapes.
We are dedicated to helping families in need during Elba's yearly trips to Central America. She focuses on helping coffee pickers, primarily single-mothers, in a small but tangible way.
Elba envisioned this company so that we can all still enjoy a nice cup of joe, but in a socially responsible and eco-friendly manner!
Café Sol y Mar also gives back to the community!
In 2013, Elba traveled to her native country of El Salvador and used the proceeds from Café Sol y Mar and donations from her clients to have a new sheet-metal roof installed on the home of a woman she met while on a coffee plantation.
In 2016, during her travels in Nicaragua, Elba helped small children to buy food and provided them with toys and school supplies.
In the Spring of 2017, Elba traveled to the coffee farms of Guatemala and helped a young mother to buy 4 hens, food for the animals, and the materials to build a chicken coop.
While these are small acts, they directly affect the lives of people who struggle to make ends meet.
- Coffee rust (fungi) aggravates poverty and the economy in rural El Salvador.
- The highest quality coffees are grown under fruit trees such as banana, orange and avocado trees which provide a secondary crop for farmers to sell.
- Shade-grown coffee has good flavor and is low in acidity, resulting in a more pleasant experience for drinkers.
- The dark soil of the rain forest is loaded with nutrients from the naturally decaying vegetation that grows below and above the coffee.
- The combination of altitude and volcanic soil make Central America a prime coffee growing location.