The story of an award-winning coffee


The story of an award-winning coffee

The Beach Hut and Watergate Bay Hotel are proud to use Origin Coffee as one of our local Cornish suppliers. They are passionate about what they do and produce exceptional coffee for our guests. They know their coffee is good because they know how its grown. They visit the farms directly and invest in them, they see first-hand that the conditions are right for the beans and for the workers.

Just as there are contests for fine wines, there are contests for fine coffees – and the Cup of Excellence is one of the most prestigious. It recognises fine quality coffee from all over the globe and rewards coffee growers with high prices for winning coffees at auction.

Origin were delighted to hear that Santa Elena – selected by Head Roaster Phil Gevaux on a buying trip to El Salvador in February  – has recently been announced as winner at the 2013 El Salvador Cup of Excellence. We serve this coffee at the hotel and you can buy the beans through the Origin online shop.


The Santa Elena bean makes up some of the F30 Espresso blend and is the coffee used our espresso machines. It’s a seasonally changing coffee which currently consists of 50% Santa Elena, El Salvador; 20% Los Nogales, El Salvador and 30% Los Altos, Nicaragua.

Here’s the story behind this amazing El Salvador bean…

High in the mountains of El Salvador, overlooking Lake Coatepeque, lies a unique coffee-growing region. Today the tropical region is lush, green and tranquil; but it wasn’t always like this.

In 2005 the Santa Ana volcano erupted for the first time in a hundred years, spewing out molten lava and rocks the size of cars, annihilating everything that got in the way – crops, houses, people.  The devastation was intense and immediate.

Seven years on and coffee farmer Don Fernando Lima has tamed this hostile environment. He is now able to cultivate coffee in the region’s unique soils at his farm, Finca Santa Elena. Digging just below the soil’s surface, you’ll discover a distinctive layer of grey ash. It’s this unique earth that enables Fernando to produce some very special coffee beans indeed.


“Fernando is a producer focused on growing high quality coffee and the Santa Elena cups really well and has a sweet and full-bodied flavour,” explains Origin head roaster Phil about the distinctive coffee. “A lot of political unrest meant many growers stopped producing while almost all the rest were about chasing volume, so it’s quite rare to find an organic grower. We’re really excited to be working with him.” Santa Elena has, quite literally, risen from the ashes of El Salvador.

Don Fernando Lima and his farm are part of the Origin Farmer 30 scheme. Designed by Origin to protect the coffee farmer.

Farmer30 (F30®)

Quality. Equality. At Origin both are of paramount importance. So a few years ago they introduced our own direct trade certification called Farmer30. It’s Origin’s way to demonstrate financial responsibility to the people who buy their coffee. By supporting Origin, Watergate Bay is also supporting the Farmer30 scheme and helping the coffee growers directly.

In essence, F30®  is about producing exceptional coffee. Origin believe that direct trade is the best way to ensure this; it means speciality coffee is created from a face-to-face relationship with the growers; it means Origin have visited the farms and chosen only those who share our passion for truly great coffee.


Producing coffee of the highest standard requires great skill and innovation. It’s an expensive process, so F30® rewards growers for their investment and their commitment to quality, guaranteeing them a minimum of 30% above the cost of production. Responsibility and sustainability are intrinsic elements of our direct trade initiative. Origin audit every farm so they know that the level of care provided for their workers, their families and the environment around them is sound. It’s the attention to details that is the hallmark of the F30® certification, exceptional coffee born from just the right conditions – a blend of quality and equality.

If you would like to taste our F30 Espresson blend featuring the Santa Elena bean, pop into The Beach Hut or Living Space for a cup or why not come along to our Beach Hut brunch with coffee tasting from Origin Coffee on Saturday 12 October? Book your place today.

To find out more about Origin Coffee have a read through our other coffee blogs, and why not have a go at making our Living Space espresso martini cocktail with this easy to follow recipe.

Find out where our coffee comes from.

Check out our coffee glossary to find your way around cappuccino’s latte’s, piccalo’s and ristretto’s.

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