Paul Delima Coffee

Coffee Aids Efforts of Humanitarians
Updated Thursday 26 July, 2007
July/August 2007 Central New York Magazine

Text By Barb Stith


In search of a great cup of coffee, John and W.J. Drescher, Jr. climbed into a Land Cruiser and bounced along a narrow road that curved up the slope of the Santa Ana volcano in El Salvador. They visited plantations where coffee plants grow in natural craters shaded by trees, where beans are picked by hand and allowed to dry in the sun.

The Dreschers, two of the owners of Drescher Management Group, which owns Paul Delima Coffee, visited El Salvador in the summer of 2005 to look at the possibility of bringing Salvadoran coffee to Syracuse. The company announced earlier this year it would import coffee from El Salvador and create the Paul Delima Foundation to fund humanitarian projects in coffee-producing regions. Its Pacas Bourbon whole-bean coffee is available for $15.75 for a 10-ounce bag at the Paul Delima store on Pardee Road in Cicero and on its website, www.delimacoffee.com.

The Salvadoran coffee sold by Paul Delima takes its name from the Pacas family, which has been growing coffee for generations, and the bourbon variety of beans. Like a fine glass of wine, a fine cup of coffee is the end result of many details; weather, soil, the variety of bean, even the species of tree that shades the plants. Shade-grown coffee is preferred by aficionados, and it’s better for the environment: The shaded farms provide refuge for wildlife, protect watersheds and conserve soil.

El Salvador produces some of the best coffees in the world, W.J. Drescher says, but other countries, such as Guatemala have been more successful in promoting themselves as exporters of high-end coffee. When he mentioned that to farm owner Alfredo Pacas Sr., Pacas literally pointed out how little difference there was between his farm’s coffee and the better-known Guatemalan.

“See that?” he asked Drescher, pointing to a hilltop a mile in the distance. “That’s Guatemala.”

The Dreschers left El Salvador committed to the idea of getting its coffee on the market and to finding a way to alleviate the poverty they saw. “We’re just really impressed with the people and their passion,” Drescher says. “It’s a country that really is emerging.”


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