Release #25: Montecarlos Gesha 2019
In the mid-1980’s Carlos Batres was living in London representing El Salvador at the International Coffee Organization. During this time the coffee market was regulated by quotas in which a target price was set, and export quotas allocated to each producer. When the indicator price set by the International Coffee Organization (ICO)
fell below the target price, quotas were decreased (to check supply and demand); if it rose above it, quotas were increased (ditto). Although the system had its problems, it was successful in raising and stabilizing the price of coffee. The quota system temporarily broke down, due to the 1985 drought in Brazil, and Carlos went back to live in El Salvador representing Goldman Sachs and General Foods Maxwell House. During this time Carlos inherited a farm in Apaneca, El Salvador.
While the Montecarlos story starts with Carlos Batres inheriting a farm, it was his vision of what the farm could be and his passion for coffee that have made Montecarlos what it is now. Carlos inherited the mill, which dates back to the 1870’s, and has been in the family for five generations. However, to create the Montecarlos of today took decades. Year by year Carlos purchased land with the goal of owning the entire volcano upon which Montecarlos sits. Carlos and his partner Julie Batres now own the entire volcano which sits in a chain of volcanic cones, two of which have been active in the recent past.
Passenger has been fortunate to have the opportunity to work closely with Carlos and Julie as one of our Foundational Partners since 2017. The primary varieties that are produced on the estate are Caturra, Bourbon, Catuaí, Pacamara, and Gesha. Of the five main varieties, gesha is the most recent addition. This stellar selection from the 2019 harvest represented the second significant gesha harvest at Montecarlos.