The Journal

Great Expectations

Our new Single Origin coffee: LA ESPERANZA from El Salvador
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In Spanish, esperanza means hope or expectation, and we’re happy to report that our latest Single Origin coffee, doesn’t disappoint.

The coffee is grown, harvested and processed by the Alvarez family who run La Esperanza, one of the largest estates in the western region of El Salvador.

Why Single Origin coffees?

Whereas most coffees are a blend of beans from different estates, regions and even different countries, single origin coffees are, by definition, sourced from one area or region. In the case of La Esperanza, all the beans come from the same estate.

The aim of our Single Origin programme is to take you on a coffee journey around the great coffee-growing regions of the world to bring you sophisticated, distinctive and exotic, seasonal fresh flavours.

Variety is the spice of life and it’s always good to try new things, especially when those new things are produced with such dedication and attention to detail. Who doesn’t enjoy discovering something new?

Why El Salvador?

Because, quite simply, El Salvador is one of the classic coffee-growing regions, right up there with Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Kenya and Ethiopia in terms of heritage and quality of coffee production. Our last single origin was from Brazil, now we’re exploring Central America. (We’ll talk more about El Salvador in depth in an article coming soon.)

And, as Santiago Barhona, Caffe Nero’s Head of Green Coffee Buying points out, “El Salvador is one of the rare origins where you can still find the bourbon coffee variety at its best. It’s one of the sweetest varieties out there.” Sweetness is key, as we’ll discover.

Why La Esperanza?

Firstly, it’s representative of the El Salvador region in terms of its sweet, smooth taste, typical of Bourbon coffee. Secondly, it’s a washed coffee, a process that makes for a sweet, clean coffee – we’ll explain more about the process in a later article – and thirdly it’s produced to exacting standards by Sebastian Alvarez, who comes from a long line of coffee farmers. This is world-class single origin coffee of exceptional pedigree.

We also want to offer single origin coffees that sit comfortably within the Caffe Nero family while providing an intriguing counterpoint to Classico, our award-winning signature blend.

Classico will always be our house coffee because it is a brilliant all-rounder – a great get-up-and-go blend that has a lot in common with the medium roasts served in the best Italian caffes where the aromas alone are enough to make you feel good about life. Perfect as an espresso, with more than enough character to handle the addition of milk. Ice, too, if you like your coffee chilled.

La Esperanza is not a million miles away from Classico in its flavour profile but whereas Classico is made primarily from arabica beans tempered with a touch of high quality robusta, La Esperanza is pure 100% bourbon arabica which makes it a little softer, with deep, intense flavours and rich complexity.

Think Italian wine. If Classico is a versatile, deliciously quaffable Chianti, La Esperanza is more like a complex, single estate Barolo.


So what do our experts think?

Does La Esperanza live up to its billing? We asked the Caffe Nero experts…

Sara Domo, Caffe Nero Barista and Quality Control describes it as “a quintessential espresso coffee, sweet and balanced”.

David Cormack, Head of Coffee Development at Caffe Nero, is keen to highlight the smooth sophitication: “It’s a very sophisticated, elegant espresso coffee ­­– smooth and sweet.”

Santiago Barahona says we should look out for “subtle and pleasant acidity with almonds, clear honey and a hint of kiwi or papaya.”

Matt Birch, one of our Coffee Heroes agrees: “I love my Classico, but I also like to try new things. This is special. I really get an almond note with tropical fruit in the finish.”

René Fontan, Farm Manager at Finca La Esperanza: “La Esperanza embodies the finest traditional characteristics of El Salvadorian coffee: sweetness, chocolate, and balance.”


La Esperanza can be enjoyed right now at your nearest Caffe Nero, and is also available as whole beans or ground coffee (for filter or cafetiere) in 200g bags and fully recyclable Nespresso® Compatible capsules.

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