El Salvador Finca El Carmen Orange & Red Bourbon by SBCC

When we saw the Finca El Carmen tasting set available on the SBCC shop we just knew we had to taste it. At what would be more appealing than a world exclusive orange bourbon coupled with it’s red sibling? We tasted both batches as espresso and aeropress.

Thanks Joe!

Introduction to the set by SBCC:

Finca El Carmen in the beautiful old town of Ataco is one of our favourite farms and one we have been buying coffee from for four years now. We are really excited to have two different varietals from El Carmen again this year, this red bourbon and the orange bourbon microlot that is a world exclusive to Small Batch. This set comprises a 250g bag of the red and a 250g bag of the orange.

Mmm, world exclusive. Just can’t enough of the ring of it. The total of 500g (2x250g) for £10 (~11,6€) is also great in value, not unknown for the SBCC.

In our home I usually make the aeropress and Simon delivers the magical double espresso, so we always try our beans in two styles. Let us start with the Orange Bourbon.

Coffee after aeropressing, I sometimes pop these on a plant to enrich the soil.


From SBCC: A world exclusive microlot for us from Fernando Alfaro at Finca El Carmen. Sweeter and more delicate than the red bourbon expect a light and playful acidity with clementine notes. … In the cup expect honeyed brown sugar sweetness with floral clementine flavours and a lovely light lingering aftertaste.

Aeropress: Nice and foamy inverted. I remember using a lower water temperature in the making in order to preserve the taste – 87-88°C felt bit too hot to me and tasted a bit hollow. But a slightly lower temperature gave out a diverse taste, with a slightly acidic aftertaste, a play of sweetness and blunt ‘earthiness’. Definitely woke you up in the morning!

Espresso: The double espresso really hits home with some fulfilling, earthy flavours. Brown sugary taste lingering in the aftermath of a cup. Very delicate indeed.

Sometimes grinding requires a bit of physical effort.


From SBCC: Classic Salvador bourbon. Full bodied and juicy, dark chocolate with cherry and red fruit acidity. … In the cup expect a full body with chewy dark chocolate alongside fresh and bright cherry and red fruit acidity.

Aeropress: Great done inverted and my personal favourite of the two (sorry world exclusive!). Fruitier and fuller than the orange bourbon to my taste, and a great afternoon cup. I’m a sucker for chocolate-y and full flavors (H).

Espresso: Also easier as an espresso, but maybe lacking a bit in depth when compared to the orange bourbon. Maybe not as impressive as the orange bourbon, but still a very smooth hit. Acidity in the end completes the circle.


Fantastically roasted coffee with different personalities, Orange Bourbon “sweeter and more delicate than the red bourbon .. a light and playful acidity with clementine notes” (SBCC). The amount of flavor out of both the Orange and Red Bourbon is immense, and tasting one after another brought a whole variety of taste, smell and fullness.

Comparing the two between aeropress and espresso was also interesting, as I think more sweetness came out in the aeropress but the fullness was more present in the espresso. There was a little something for everyone in these two roasts that makes me wish I had some with me right now. Hope to have more next year!

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