You know you’re in the middle of nowhere in El Salvador when…   2 comments

…your trip to the “urban” area of Nueva Concepcion to find Cafe Ataco or similar quality ground coffee goes like this:

Not only do they have coffee, but here’s a hotel and restaurant, and coffee tours. Cafe Ataco gets a free “plug” from me today, just for tasting good.

1. Drive 25 minutes to get there.  The next nearest town is “el pueblo” of Agua Caliente, which does not have a grocery or an ATM machine, but it does have a town hall with mail service, a church, and not one but TWO cyber cafes.   “La Nueva” as we call it is definitely more urban so of course I’ll find some coffee there.

2. Park car at the Dispensa Familiar.   Find ‘coffee’ area within store.  See 3 or 4 brands of instant coffee, including Cafe Listo and Coscafe.  “Coscafe” does have ground coffee on the shelf.   We tried their instant coffee years ago, and didn’t like it.   “What about the other super,” my husband says.

3. Visit the other super, called “El Baratillo.”  Take money out of wallet and check 8 inch size purse at bag check area.  Get to the coffee area.

4.  See an expanded selection of instant coffees, now at least 5 or 6 brands.  Zero bags of ground coffee.  Might they have some bags in “el mercado?”

5.  We passed through the market but did not see any, though I confess we did not do a super-thorough search.  If they’d be anywhere they’d be with the vendors who sell beans, nuts, cocoa beans, and dog food.  But I don’t recall seeing any coffee beans at those stalls, actually, in any of my visits to a market.   The gas station in Guazapa between Amayo and San Salvador use to sell coffee in bags that we bought often.  But we’re not there now.

We opted for the large size glass bottle of Cafe Listo, made by Nescafe, which is “the” coffee drank by a majority of Salvadorans.  We’re OK, though, we’d been drinking it all along anyway.  But our happy diversion with the recent Cafe Ataco purchase will repeat itself on our next trip to San Salvador.   We’ll be sure to pick up a few extra bags while we’re there.

2 responses to “You know you’re in the middle of nowhere in El Salvador when…

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  1. Ah my dear … next time you are in the Berlin area – stop by La Casa Pastoral Comunitaria (on the main road coming into town from Mercedes Umana) … we are not a store – but this is the ‘base of operation’ for our partnerships – working with churches in the states and partnering with several cantons in the municipality. One of our projects is …. (drumroll) COFFEE. Organic and ‘fairly’ traded (we’re not officially certified, but we follow the international standards). Don Justo Coffee with Dignity is sold mostly in the states, but we always have a few pounds here in the house. Our local priest loves it and buys it for his family. A mere $5 per pound – it is quite yummy. Don Vidal (the spouse of the finca owner) is quite the coffee man. He knows his plants and blending.

  2. This is just one more reason to stop in Berlin and meet you, Kathy! Is any of the coffee sold here in El Salvador, btw? I’m thinking it might be more “Justo” to give a plug to the Don Justo coffee and promote my readers to buy it, knowing it is fair trade and will help people in Berlin. Do you have any pictures of the coffee bags or labels?

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