San Francisco is not only one of the more significant estates belonging to the JASAL group, but also a national forest reserve donated to National Forest Association of El Salvador. The farm belongs to Jose Antonio Salaverria. The JASAL group of farms are situated amongst the Apaneca Ilamatepec mountain range, part of the Cordelliera de Apeneca. This volcanic range runs through the Ahuachapán, Santa Ana, and Sonsonate departments in the west of El Salvador, and is where many of the Cup of Excellence producing farms are located. Three of the four volcanoes that occur within this range of mountains are situated within the national park; Cerro Verde, Izalco and Ilamatepec (also known as Santa Ana). Izalco is the youngest of the volcanoes and was called the lighthouse of the pacific for being almost continually erupting from its birth in 1770 until 1966.
The farm itself is part of a national forest reserve which, at its highest point has a lagoon that is home to thousands of frogs, which, at certain times of the year are to be found across the farm. So ubiquitous are these that the symbol for the Jasal group has become a frog, and the coffee name, ‘Ranas’, translates to English as frog, whilst ‘Cerro’ means mountain or hill.
Coffees are milled at the groups Benficio Las Cruces, located in nearby Santa Ana. Despite being a historic processing centre with over 100 years behind it, it has been regularly updated to and is currently renovated to contain wet and dry processing facilities, along with eco-friendly equipment, raised African beds, patios and mechanical driers.
For the semi washed coffees, or pulp natural, cherries are depulped and moved to the drying tables via water channels. This tends to be because a slightly larger volume is depulped at one time, as in this instance, an entire plot on the farm. The brief contact with water slightly reduces the percentage of mucilage on the bean and therefore affects the final flavour in the cup. This differs from the honey process for the farm in that honey process has no contact with water and is therefore processed in much smaller lots.