El Salvador was the fourth-largest coffee producer in the world as recently as the 1970s (although that’s 50 years ago now…) but lost its place among the elites for two reasons:
Despite being a small country, El Salvador has seven distinct coffee-growing regions:
The Apaneca-Ilamatepec Mountain Range is the country’s most famous region with peaks rising over 7,000 feet near the Santa Ana volcano. This region has most of the country’s larger farms.
The other regions all have distinct altitudes, soils, and precipitation, which makes them agriculturally unique. However, El Salvador as a whole is distinct from the rest of Central America for producing the Bourbon variety of Arabica coffee, which yields a cleaner, brighter cup.