If the coffee producing world had a hall of fame, Aida Batlle would surely be a first ballet entry. She’s a fifth-generation coffee producer, from the Santa Ana region of El Salvador. She runs her family’s three farms, Finca Los Alpes, Finca Kilimanjaro, and Finca Mauritania, as well as her own farm, Finca Tanzania.
During the Salvadorian civil war, which lasted from 1980 – 1992, the Batlle family moved to Miami, Florida, which is where Aida grew up. In 2002, Aida moved back to El Salvador, to help her father, Mauricio, run the farms.
In the early 2000s, coffee prices were staggeringly low, and Mauricio was losing money each harvest. Coffees from the family farms were blended together, with coffees from other local farms, and sold as an untraceable regional blend.
When Aida moved back to El Salvador, she had no experience growing coffee, but from her time in the United States, she understood the regional food movement that was starting to take hold. If consumers were interested in where their fruit, vegetables, and other produce came from, then why not coffee?
In 2003, just a year after arriving back in Santa Ana, Aida entered the inaugural El Salvador Cup of Excellence, with a coffee from Finca Kilimanjaro, and won. She also placed 16th, with a coffee from Los Alpes.
Over the last twenty years, her coffees (and her name) have become synonymous with quality.
While 2022 is Proud Mary Coffee's 1st year working directly with Aida, we’ve been big fans of hers for over a decade.
One of our Green Coffee buyers, James, first got to know Aida through various industry events in the US. Working for Stumptown Coffee Roasters, at the time, he was familiar with her coffees and her story, and they struck up a friendship that’s lasted to this day.
(Aida Batlle, and Proud Mary Green Coffee Buyer, James Fairbrass)
“I can still remember the first time I tasted Aida’s coffee. It must have been late 2009, or early 2010. I’d just helped Stumptown open their first café in New York, and we had Aida’s washed bourbon, from Kilimanjaro, on the menu. It tasted like white grape, green apple, blackcurrant, and champagne. Whenever anyone asks me, 'what’s your favorite coffee, ever?’, it has to be that Kilimanjaro ... over a decade later, with exquisite Geisha's and Cup of Excellence winners ... and I still think about that coffee.”