Pacamara Coffee 

What is it & why should I try it?

Pacamara coffee is a coffee varietal that was originally created by crossing Pacas and Maragogype varietals. Pacamara was first produced in El Salvador at the Salvadoran Institute for Coffee Research in 1958. Having gained a respectable reputation, Pacamara coffee is now grown in a number of different Central American countries.

Pacas Coffee + Maragogype Coffee = Pacamara Coffee

Get it? Yes indeed, very creative. Let’s take a look at each of the parents of Pacamara coffee.

Or, if you're for Pacamara coffee ideas, feel free to SKIP TO THE GOOD STUFF!

Pacas Coffee

The Pacas varietal is the result of a natural genetic mutation to the Bourbon varietal.

Bourbon → Mutation → Pacas

This single gene mutation actually has a significant impact on the size of the plant. Pacas plants exhibit dwarfism, meaning that they are much smaller and more compact. Plants of this nature were discovered in 1949 by the Pacas family, on their farm in Santa Ana, El Salvador. Make a discovery, have that discovery named after you; that’s the way it works!

The smaller, compact Pacas plants are able to be planted much closer together, leading to a more efficient use of farm space, and a higher potential yield.

Pacas beans have similar taste characteristics to Bourbon beans, with a few minor alterations. Pacas coffee is often less sweet than Bourbon, and has a more desirable body.

Maragogype Coffee 

The Maragogype varietal is also the result of genetic mutation. This time, the parent is the Typica varietal.

Typica → Mutation → Maragogype

This varietal was discovered in 1870, and is recognizable by its large leaves and beans. Maragogype plants have a low productivity, but the large beans that they produce have a high quality flavor.

Coffee Varietals Mapped

Here's a simple little flow chart we whipped up to illustrate how Pacamara coffee came to be!

Pacamara Coffee Varietal Map

More Coffee Varietals

If our beautiful graphic has ignited a burning desire to learn more about these coffee varietals, or ANY coffee varietal for that matter, check out!

Coffee Brewing - Quick Reference Guide [Print-Friendly PDF]

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What makes Pacamara coffee desirable?

Okay so we’ve talked about what Pacamara coffee is, and where it came from. The next question we’ll tackle is this; why should you care?

Pacamara Coffee Taste Profile

Pacamara coffee has an esteemed reputation, quite simply, because it tastes really good. You can expect a Pacamara coffee to be something like this;

  • Powerful aroma, often fluity & floral - most notably jasmine
  • Good, creamy body, usually in the medium to full range

  • Complex, vibrant acidity - this is the most defining characteristic of Pacamara coffee

  • Sweet notes of chocolate, butterscotch & honey
  • Various fruity and wine notes - citrus fruits, berries, etc.

Farming Advantages

Pacamara plants inherit the dwarfism gene from the Pacas varietal, and the large bean size from Maragogype. 

As a result of this, Pacamara plants are more dense and compact in stature. This makes them more wind resistant than Maragogype plants. The plants can therefore be grown closer together and on steep slopes. These qualities are ideal for growth at optimally high altitudes. These factors leads to a higher productivity relative to Maragogype plants.

Pacamara plants also produce larger, more desirable beans than Pacas plants. This is associated with a higher quality taste. This is the part where we benefit. These beans offer a more developed and higher quality taste profile!

Pacamara coffee receives the benefits from both of its parent varietals... the best of both worlds! With both farming and consumer advantages aplenty, growing Pacamara coffee is a no-brainer!

Pacamara Coffee DNA

Pacamara inherits good qualities from both parents. Chalk it up to good DNA!

Pacamara Coffee Recommendations

Have you decided that it’s time to give some Pacamara coffee a try? Good call. Here are three great options from El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala to get you started. Enjoy!

The Coffee

The Visual

Defining Aspects

Available As...

El Salvador

El Salvador Pacamara Coffee Whole BEan
  • Bright medium roast
  • Sweet notes of fruit, chocolate & butterscotch


Nicaragua Pacamara Coffee Whole Bean
  • Delicate, mellow light roast
  • Notes of vanilla & berries


Guatemala Pacamara Coffee Whole Bean
  • Complex, creamy medium roast
  • Notes of fruit, wine & chocolate

More Central American Coffee!

If you enjoy coffee from El Salvador, Guatemala or Nicaragua, check these out!

Do you have an opinion on Pacamara coffee or varietals in general? What is your favorite Pacamara bean? Let us know!

Have a coffee question? We may have the answer. Ask away!

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