Jasal is a family owned business located in El salvador, Central America. Andres is part of the fifth generation in the family and is the managing director of the business. We have been working with Jasal since 2012, which makes a 10-year-long partnership.
The group of estates are concentrated in one of the best regions in El Salvador for coffee cultivation: the Apaneca-Ilamatepec region. 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 in the country are located.
Andres Salaverría even came to our first Full Circle event to talk about the processing they do at Beneficio Las Cruces, the mill that serves all their farms.
We catch up with Andres Salaverría to learn a little more about the business and coffee in El Salvador.
Hello Andres Salaverría
Tell us a little about you
I am 34 years old. I have a lovely wife and 2 amazing daughters. I love soccer, dogs, and family time.
Tell us about your journey in coffee.
I started working in coffee in 2010. In 2011, I was part of Ernesto Illy Master in Science and economics. Since I was little, I spent most of my holidays while in high school and college working part-time in coffee. I’m part of the 5th generation in the family working in the business, and really love this industry, its challenges and the relationships you make.
What were you doing before you joined the business?
I joined the business right after graduating from university.
What is the story behind the Beneficio Las Cruces?
Beneficio Las Cruces was built in 1903, it’s a really antique mill and we have tried to preserve the antiquity of its external layout with top-of-the-line machinery. It was purchased by our family back in 2004, and since then it has been our processing station for specialty coffee.
How does it feel working so closely with your family in coffee?
It’s a challenge but a grateful one. Sometimes the hardest part is thinking the same way, but in the end, we might have different opinions but one common objective which is to be productive and keep up with quality in order to have good business results.
Has coffee always been a part of the family?
Yes, I am part of the fifth generation and both sides of my parents come from coffee. My father’s coffee business is where I currently work, and my mother’s side of the family also has a coffee business.
If you had one day in the Santa Ana region, how would you spend it?
I love combining farm and mill. I love how quick you can get from the farm to the mill. I really enjoy being at the farm or mill a lot more than being at the office. Being at the mill, especially, is where I relax most, not because I don’t work, but because time passes so quickly because there is so much interesting stuff going on.
Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador. When I was a child, I spent most weekends at the farm. I remember how much I enjoyed harvesting, seeing the trucks arrive at the mill and jumping up and down on the coffee bags at the warehouse. My father used to pay us the day we harvested and I enjoyed going to the town near the farm to buy some ice cream, sweets, etc.
Tell us about the future of Jasal.
Our biggest objective at the moment is to increase our production levels. We are working on planting more, pruning and working hard on all plants that are productive. Also, we seek to keep up with the latest specialty coffee trends (varieties, processing methods) and always looking forward to seeing what’s next.
What is your favourite coffee varietal and processing method?
I really enjoy bourbon coffee as both washed and soaked processes because I like drinking several cups per day. However, I do love new exotic varieties like Sl28, Gesha, Pacamara, and Ethiopia Heirloom. I really enjoy all processing methods, but if I’m to drink several cups, I prefer a washed and soaked method.
How do you take your coffee?
At the office mainly pour-over. At home French press and espresso.