Coffee was already being cultivated in El Salvador in the middle of the 18th century, though initially only for domestic consumption. Only Arabica coffees are grown, mainly the Bourbon variety and the indigenous Pacas and Pacamara varieties. Due to the climate, the coffee is grown on the seaside mountain slopes of the Apaneca-Llamatepec region. The coffee plants are often grown together with fruit or nut trees. These provide the necessary shade for the sensitive coffee plants and increase nutrient density. Coffee cultivation has also largely prevented deforestation in El Salvador: without the additional trees on the plantations, there would be no forested areas left in the country.
Salvadorian coffee is characterised by a discreetly soft body and restrained acidity. It has a creamy mouthfeel, and pleasant sweet notes of chocolate, caramel, dried fruit or lemon.