NataMaya is an exciting coffee for us, not least because it’s named for Irving Farm’s very own Mayita Méndez and her sister, Natalia. Our relationship with El Salvador’s Finca NataMaya began in 2012 when Mayita’s mother, Nena, walked into our 79th Street cafe and noticed a black-and-white mural on the back wall depicting Guadalupe, a coffee farm from her homeland that borders her own family farm, NataMaya, which she acquired in 2005 with her husband, Hermann. She inquired about the photographer—who happened to be our Green Coffee Buyer, Dan Streetman—and invited him to visit NataMaya on his next trip to El Salvador.
Nena, Mayita and Dan spent three days touring the property, located near a pristine rainforest, with resident manager Don Hector. Dan also got to see Mayita’s other passion, a remote place at the top of the mountain known as “The Eagle” in Juayua, where she has worked with the non-profit SQ Foundation to establish a school, sleeping accommodations, bathrooms, soccer fields and a medical clinic for the children of Canton Ojo de Agua.
Mayita and Natalia are part of the fifth generation of coffee growers in El Salvador, dating back to the 1880s on their mother’s side. And in the 1950s their grandparents, Alfredo and Bessita Ortiz Mancia, purchased NataMaya’s sister farm, Finca Talnamica. You can currently try our Los Niños Experiments from Talnamica where we processed the same coffee four different ways.
Irving Farm is a family affair in more ways than one, and the Méndez family is a great example of our multi-layered relationships. Their coffees have inspired a horchata chocolate bar with Brooklyn’s Raaka Chocolate (followed by a raucous party in Red Hook where the Méndez cousins slayed the dance floor) and earlier this year they harvested cascara (coffee cherry) specifically for wastED, a one of a kind pop-up restaurant created by Dan Barber at Blue Hill in Manhattan that raised awareness about food waste by transforming scraps and compost into delectable meals. Mayita even worked as a barista at our 79th Street cafe and now she’s part of the wholesale team.
You’ll love NataMaya’s delicate grapefruit acidity, caramel depth and luscious mouthfeel. And Irving Farm donates $1 from each bag of NataMaya sold to support the SQ Foundation and their work in Canton Ojo de Agua.