Pacamara Coffee (What’s in it for you?)

pacamara large sized beans

Pacamara is a type of coffee that is a hybrid of Pacas and Maragogype. Aside from its enormous size, it is also known for its exceptional taste.

Considering coffee is a wanted commodity, the competition to see who can provide the best cup of coffee is tough.

Coffee producers have continuously worked on developing the best tasting coffee that satisfies consumers. And one of these products is Pacamara coffee!

Paca, what? If this piques your curiosity, keep reading as this article will cover most of what you need to know about this peculiar drink.

I’ll supply you with facts and information for your queries such as, “What is it?” Where did it come from? Is it good? What does it taste like? And more.

Let’s get started!

What is a Pacamara?

Pacamara is a combination between Pacas, a natural Bourbon mutation, and Maragogype, a natural modification of Typica.

Pacamara, like the Maracaturra, is distinguished by the massive size of its cherries and seeds.

Hybrids are constantly produced to inherit the beneficial characteristics of their parents while eliminating some of their bad traits.

This is a rigorous, lengthy process of honing genetics to achieve the purest, healthiest, and strongest plants and then breeding them in various ways to achieve the desired qualities.

It took 30 years to develop the Pacamara, which we now know and love from Pacas and Maragogype.

Pacamara was first released in El Salvador in the 1980s and quickly became a sensation.

What is Pacamara Coffee?

El Salvador’s staple is Pacamara and also a beloved beverage with creamy and chocolatey flavors and a fruity kick.

The renowned Pacas/Maragogype hybrid, Pacamara, was produced by the El Salvadoran Institute of Coffee Research. It was a considerable step forward given El Salvador’s history of coffee leaf rust outbreaks.

It has an enormous bean that may reveal a vast range of profiles and is now more commonly found in other Central American producing countries.

Here are additional Pacamara facts and information from World Coffee Research.

Appearance

Stature (growth habit of the plant)Dwarf or Compact
Leaf Tip Color (Color of the tips of new leaves)Green or Bronze
Bean Size Very Large
Pacamara Facts

Agronomics

Optimal Altitude (altitude at which quality and agronomic performance potential is maximized)5°N to 5°S: >1600m5–15°N and 5–15°S: >1300m>15°N and >15°S: >1000m
Quality Potential at High Altitude (potential for quality of this variety when grown at higher altitudes)Exceptional
Yield Potential (how much fruit the coffee tree will produce)Good
Coffee Leaf Rust (susceptibility to leaf rust)Susceptible
Coffee Berry Disease (susceptibility to CBD)Susceptible
Nematodes (susceptibility to nematodes, particularly the species Meloidogyne and/or Pratylenchus)Susceptible
Year of First Production (when the tree will produce its first fruit)Year Three
Nutrition Requirement (how much nutrition does this plant require)Medium
Ripening of Fruit (time in the harvest season when the tree fruit will ripen)Average
Cherry-to-Green-Bean Outturn (size of the bean in relation to the fruit)Average
Planting Density (spacing that should be used for planting this variety)5000-6000 a/ha (using single-stem pruning)
Pacamara Agronomics

Genetics

Lineage (parents of this variety (when known), or genetic lineage)Pacas x Maragogype
Genetic DescriptionBourbon-Typica Group (Typica- and Bourbon-related)
HistoryOriginated from a mix between Pacas and Maragogipe. The incomplete pedigree selection was conducted by the Salvadoran Institute of Coffee Research (ISIC). Grown primarily in El Salvador, frequently dominating the Cup of Excellence competitions because of its high cup quality.
Maracaturra, a related variety, originated from a natural crossing of Caturra and Maragogipe in Nicaragua. The Nicaraguan Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) made the initial selections in 1976. Still, they’ve never been finished after the Sandinista revolution. Private producers in Central America produced more choices, but the variety was never stable.
Pacamara Genetics

Where is Pacamara Coffee From?

Pacamara is El Salvador’s bread and butter.

Oscicala, Morazan, El Salvador; Photo by: Maren Barbee

Because of its richness and exceptional taste, El Salvador coffee has made a name for itself in the specialty coffee industry.

Along with the ideal climate, a local hybrid known as Pacamara coffee has aided the Salvadoran coffee industry’s growth. 

Here, the Pacamara stood out since it is one of the most sought-after coffee varieties by premium markets.

Pacamara is mainly recognized as a Salvadoran variety. However, it has quickly spread to other countries, with farmers in Guatemala having tremendous growth with this variety.

El Injerto is a remarkable example in this regard, having won the Guatemala Cup of Excellence seven times with Pacamara.

So, what makes Pacamara a Salvadoran variety?

Although the Margagogype, Pacamara parent, is a natural mutation of Typica located in Brazil, the Pacas parent is unquestionably Salvadoran.

Pacas is a naturally occurring Bourbon mutation found in 1949 on a farm in San Rafael in El Salvador’s Santa Ana region.

The notable trait of the mutation is that the plants are considerably smaller than the Bourbon parent, and so are the internodes between the cherry clusters.

This increases the yield of the Pacas plants and allows them to be planted closer together, increasing the yield even more.

As previously stated, the Pacamara variety inherits the Maragogype parent’s bean size and produces massive beans. These beans have a lesser density and demand a distinct roasting method than the more traditional types of roast. 

Pacamara beans demand a lower temperature to attain the same degree of roast and, due to their size, a slower initial drying stage.

This slower drying period lets the heat seep into the bigger bean’s core and drives off the moisture. If you roast the bean too quickly, the outer part will turn black before the center is ready.

Is Pacamara Coffee Good?

Pacamara Coffee is excellent, with a wide variety of distinct tastes.

Pacamara Coffee beans being harvested.

Pacamara is well-known for its unique cup qualities, which are rare and often quite intriguing.

Pacamaras feature rich and powerful aromas; medium to dense masses with a creamy mouthfeel; and exquisite acidity featuring tastes ranging from sweet notes of chocolate to fruitier undertones like citrus, berries, and stone fruits.

Depending on where it grows, you might get something from Panama that is very citrusy and fruity. There are also variants from Nicaragua, which may be quite fruity and peachy.

It’s unquestionably a coffee you don’t want to miss out on.

And, if you like to know more, watch this video below.

Why Should You Try the Pacamara Coffee?

How Does Pacamara Coffee Taste?

Pacamara coffee offers exceptional flavors that range from sweet to fruitier undertones, as well as a pleasant lingering aftertaste, depending on where it was cultivated.

Pacamara coffee is a highly diversified variety in and of itself. The different varieties, depending on the local soil, location, and so on, may significantly influence the overall flavor quality.

According to Joseph O’Hara, Director at Ristretto Mobile Coffee Bars and Alchemy Coffee Roasters, they have discovered three distinct flavor profiles in their experience tasting and purchasing Pacamara coffee from several producers.

They have labeled them “The Good, the Great, and the Bad.”

The “Good” has a rich chocolatey flavor and creamy texture.

The “Great” enhances this with citrus acidity, tropical fruit flavors, and a flowery fragrance.

The “Bad” has a distinct flavor that is filthy, papery, and unpleasant tasting.

When asked which ones to buy, he recommended buying “The Great.”

Both the Pacas and Maragogype parents have specific dominant genes that may be identified.

This indicates that in a 100% harvest, 80 percent will be Pacamara, 10% will be Pacas, and 10% will be Maragogype.

This requires careful selection in the nursery to identify parent qualities among the seedlings that produce the new plants. 

This variety exhibits standard features found in other coffees when cultivated 1,100 to 1,200 meters above sea level.

However, aroma and flowery taste are amplified and felt more intensely when grown at higher altitudes. 

Purity and fineness are improved as well, and flavors like green and harshness fade.

Pacamara’s floral fragrance and taste are likely one of its defining qualities, creating numerous different traits.

Where to Buy Pacamara Coffee?

There are numerous options!

Coffee Island’s El Salvador Pacamara coffee; Photo by: Bex Walton

Pacamara was hardly known outside of El Salvador for several years. Still, because of its growing popularity, it is now expanding to Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Peru, and other countries worldwide.

You may get your hands on this coffee by simply surfing the web, where you’ll have various selections to choose from, including the following:

Pacamara Coffee from El Injerto is the only coffee globally to have won the Cup of Excellence Presidential Award seven times.

Grown in the Huehue Highlands at 1720 m above sea level, southwest of the coffee plantation in the Pandora region. This variety was developed in El Salvador by crossing Maragogype and Pacas types.

Their Pacamaras are handpicked by experienced farmers each year in February and March.

They are then processed with quality control protocol. All coffees are steeped for 24 hours after being washed in pure spring water.

The product of this variety is an exceptional creamy brew with pure sweetness and tropical flavors.

Another choice is Pacamara Coffee Lab. 

It sources its beans from innovative and devoted farmers, doing their best to showcase their efforts by roasting each batch meticulously and providing barista training.

They intend to provide consumers with a product that has a traceable, ethical supply chain and a taste that embodies all of the care provided by so many individuals along its journey.

You can also check out RamsHead Coffee Roasters.

Produced mainly of the big-beaned Pacamara variety of Arabica at the Menendez Family Farm and processed using the wet or washed method.

RamsHead Coffee Roasters is a family-owned business started by Caleb and Laura Walker of Bozeman, Montana.

Their Pacamara coffee’s richly sweet-savory, cocoa-toned is available on their website.

Their Pacamara features a balanced, bittersweet structure with brisk acidity; with a plush, syrupy mouthfeel.

To give you more selections, here are some other websites where you can buy Pacamara Coffee:

Final Thoughts

Pacamara coffee, in my opinion, is one of the best examples of the coffee industry’s innovation.

It’s a beautiful thing that people are paying attention to diverse coffee varieties since this will provide more opportunities for our local coffee farmers to promote sustainability.

This progress is all thanks to the coffee producers learning about botanical varieties and processing, roasting, and brewing to provide a better quality cup of coffee.

Pacamara coffee, hybrid of Pacas and Maragogype, seems to be a very ideal drink.

With its noticeably bigger size and delightful sweet to fruity flavor that coffee enthusiasts will appreciate.

Now, why don’t you go ahead and grab one for yourself?

Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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