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El Salvador El Retiro Bernardina – Kaldi’s Coffee

Andrew Pautler

El Salvador El Retiro Bernardina from Kaldi's Coffee

Coffee Details

  • Coffee Name
    El Salvador El Retiro Bernardina
  • Roaster
    Kaldi's Coffee
  • Roaster Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
  • Estimated Price
    $30.99 / 200g
  • Flavor Notes
    Papaya, chamomile, pistachio, lemonade
  • Process
  • Varieties
  • Country
    El Salvador
  • Region
    Santa Ana
  • Elevation
    1400 MASL
  • Producer
    Pacas Family
  • Roast
  • Review Brew Method
    Orea, AeroPress, cupping
  • Roast Date
    February 6, 2023
  • Review Date
    February 24, 2023

Coffee Scoring

8.5 / 10
9.5 / 10
9 / 10
8.5 / 10
9.5 / 10
8.5 / 10
9 / 10
9 / 10
9 / 10
9 / 10
  • Evolution as it cools
  • Full mouthfeel

Disclosure: Pull & Pour received coffee samples for this post, however, as always, all opinions are 100% my own.

The Cupping Room series includes the most exciting coffees Kaldi’s has to offer and have been some of my favorites through the years. Now that I have begun to partner with Kaldi’s on many of the special releases through the coffee club, I’ve spent some good time in the Kaldi’s cupping room that this series is named making the entire Cupping Room series a bit dearer to me.

The Bernardina varietal is one of the most unique coffee varietals and was only discovered in 2008 on the Pacas Family farm. It was originally mistaken for a geisha because of its similar profile (and it does in fact share around 70% of its genetics with geisha), but later identified as its own varietal and named after the farm manager, Ruperto Bernardino Merche, who originally discovered it.

This year’s Bernardina begins with a more delicate fragrance of sweet florals and mild tropical fruits. The flavor profile reminded me of black tea with dark fruit notes and subtle tropical fruit undertones. It has a full mouthfeel and a medium body with a very well-balanced profile. The coffee lightens and brightens as it cools and opens up quite a bit. The sweetness isn’t overly pronounced but has qualities of tropical citrus notes with a lingering sweet-toned finish.

The Bottom Line

While this wasn’t my favorite Bernardina I’ve had from Kaldi’s, it was still an excellent coffee that supports the incredible story behind its discovery. Its lovely evolution as it cools and full mouthfeel made it a complex and robust coffee that was very enjoyable with every brew.

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