Miguel Angel Portillo
FINCA LOS NARANJOS STORY
Miguel Portillo began growing coffee thanks to his grandfather, who taught him about coffee cultivation. After his grandfather’s passing, Miguel and his brother inherited some land he owned. Thus, Miguel decided to grow coffee, and it’s been three decades now, which has been possible with his family’s support. For example, his wife, Rosa Elida Aguilar and daughters help harvest and dry the coffee, while his son helps with field work and now owns a small plot of land. In addition to coffee, Miguel and his family grow pineapples, bananas, izote flowers (the national flower of El Salvador) and plantains.
To produce high-quality coffee, Miguel relies on selective harvesting. Typically, the coffee undergoes a 24-hour fermentation in cherry, and later on, they continue to pulp the coffee. The wet parchment with the mucilage layer undergoes another 24-hour fermentation (without water) in cement tanks. The coffee is then washed and transferred to drying beds. In previous years, Miguel used concrete patios for drying, which took 9–10 days. However, for the 2023 harvest, he successfully implemented drying beds, extending drying times to 12–15 days, depending on weather conditions. This represents a milestone for Miguel and his family. In the future, Miguel would like to improve the drying process by expanding the drying area by increasing the number of drying beds. In this way, his son can also dry the coffee. The first harvest will be in 2024, and Miguel hopes he will sell his coffee through Caravela.
Finally, Miguel is proud of his farm, which has been his family’s primary source of income for many years. It has allowed him to grow and honor his grandfather’s legacy. “I am incredibly proud to produce specialty coffee, and I always welcome visitors to my farm if they want to learn more.”