ECUADOR ALTOS DE MARFIL
This coffee represents the work of 44 small scale farmers in Puyango, Loja, in Southern Ecuador. If you were a fan of the recent Peruvian coffees we have offered, you are sure to enjoy this one! A nice clean cup with notes of melon, berry, custard, and brown sugar.
Ecuador has a high minimum wage relative to surrounding coffee producing countries, and also has universal healthcare and social security, in other words, fairly robust social protections for workers. The total amount of coffee harvested yearly in Ecuador is a lot lower than neighboring powerhouses Colombia and Peru, and because workers are paid well, the price per lb. ends up being a lot higher. This means Ecuador usually has a good seller's market for coffee of all qualities, but the high prices often scare buyers off. We have opted to buy coffee from Ecuador for a few years now because the quality is incredible and the improved working conditions make our purchases more than worth it!
This is our second year with this particular coffee and it is tasting fantastic this harvest. Here is what our importer partners at Caravela have to say about Altos de Marfil:
"Among the highlands that surround the Loja province, there is a forest called Bosques de Marfil. The people there also call it Bosques de Tagua due to the abundance of Tagua trees, a type of palm. This natural resource extrands more than 200 hectares and is located close to the Parroquia El Limu. The Bosques de Marfil produces a seed that the community uses to create art crafts which they sell to other provinces. These crafts generate extra income during harsh economic seasons. Through the center of this region the El Limu mountain range crosses East to West and this producer group lives in these highlands. The coffee from Altos de Marfil is grown by farmers who have a very long tradition in coffee production - they grow older varieties favorable to specialty production. The average age of these producers is around 60, but most are introducing their children to the business, and the new generation seems eager to continue improving the quality of their coffee."