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November 23, 2009


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Glad to know I am not the only one who travels in the coffeelands with a French press and goes through the same calculation about pre-grinding based on the length of my trip. I used to use the lower-end plastic Bodum travel press but two of them broke on me. Now I take the small stainless press, which takes a little more room but withstands a lot more punishment...

Anyway, two recommendations for extraordinary coffee on your travels in the coffeelands: Ben's Coffee in San Salvador and Palo Alto coffee in Cali, both of which are devoted to promoting specific origins for domestic markets and roasting with real precision...We need more like these elsewhere!


Daniel Humphries

Thanks for the recommendation on Palo Alto in Cali. I will be sure to check it out if I am there.

I've been to Ben's and had a couple of very nice cups of coffee there. However I have some close personal friends at Viva Espresso which is just across the central square of the Gran Via from Ben's. Federico Bolaños does roasting in-house there. Last year they bought a small portion of a Cup of Excellence lot and roasted it in-house for their customers. That was the first time that anyone in a CoE country was serving the coffee for people in that country, that I know of. Plus their baristas have won the El Salvador championship two years in a row. So check out Viva Espresso too!

mike P

The Norwegian team in the Nordic barista cup this last year had a great idea. They actually brought an aeropress onto the plane to make coffee on their way to Iceland for the event. Much better than my typical in-flight beverage.

Daniel Humphries

An aeroplane aeropress. I like it.


To M: Just wanna add some correction, Ben's Coffee was the fisrt company in El Salvador selling cup of excellence coffees, in 2007 at the launching with "La Montaña Estate". Until this year 2009, Viva Espresso (before called "Baristi", a copy of Café Barista in Guatemala) was only selling coffee from their own Farm, Santa Petrona. Their barista won the national championship because no member of Ben's Coffee staff went to the event,so their Baristas competed against Esso On the Run Baristas...so well...we must see later when Ben's participate! In my opinion Ben's Coffee is far away better than is neighbour of La Gran Via, but you can go in both place and make your own personal opinion! Enjoy salvadorean coffee, so good!


Funny comment Mr. K because it is misleading and is not based on facts.

Viva Espresso was indeed the 1st coffeshop to purchase a Cup of Excellence coffee the year the coffee won the award. You can find Viva Espresso as an official buyer in this link from the Cup of Excellence website: http://www.cupofexcellence.org/WhatisCOE/ListofBuyers/2008Buyers/tabid/291/Default.aspx
Try finding Ben's Coffee in any year...you won't. This is becuase they have only purchased coffee that won on previous years, meaning they are no longer active COE coffees, just good coffee with awards in their history.

With regards to the Barista Championships that Viva Espresso has won:
Viva Espresso has won 3 barista championships so far: 2008, 2009, and 2010. In 2009 Viva Espresso took 1st and 2nd place, Ben's barista was disqualified. In 2010 Viva Espresso's barsitas won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place...Ben's staff ended 4th and 6th.

Besides the above awards, Viva Espresso can add the following awards at those competitions: "Best Espresso" in 2008, 2009, 2010, "Best Cappuccino" in 2008 & 2009, and "Best Signature Drink" in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Viva Espresso has also proved it's barista excellence internationally against the very best of the world. In 2009 a barista from Viva Espresso ranked 9th in the World Barista Championship.

This are facts, not fictional or pretentious comments.


Viva Espressos's barista Alendro Mendez, who won the 2010 salvadoran barista championship, made it to the top 12 baristas in world by reaching the semifinals at the 2010 World Barista Championship in London!!!

Come and enjoy world-class coffee made by award-winning baristas at Viva Espresso.

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