Coffee was first introduced to El Salvador from the Caribbean as a garden crop in the mid-18th century but did not gain a commercial production foothold until 1850’s because indigo, easier to grow and more profitable, was king. Coffee was first exported—695 bags—in 1856 and the government began to encourage coffee farming. Exponential growth coincided with the development of synthetic indigo near the end of the century. At one time, El Salvador was one of the largest producers of commercial coffees. Today, with a focus on quality over quantity, 70% of coffee from El Salvador sells for a premium above commodity prices.