ECUADOR ALTOS DE MARFIL
Altitude: 1,300 - 1800 masl
Variety: Bourbon, Typica, Caturra
Tasting notes: blackberry, melon, lemon custard, caramel
This coffee was sourced by Caravela and represents ~44 small scale farmers in Puyango, Loja in Southern Ecuador. The harvest runs August through December meaning that Ecuador is always one of the first arrivals to the US when the new year turns over. Ecuador has comparably high minimum wage laws, universal healthcare, social security, and other social protections for farm workers. The overall quantity of coffee produced in Ecuador is small, especially when compared to neighboring powerhouses Colombia and Peru. This means that Ecuador has one of South America’s truly seller’s markets for coffee of all qualities. Prices are high and this often scares buyers off, opting for a similar quality coffee at half the price, right next door in Peru. We opt to support these improved working conditions and believe the resulting coffees are worth a premium, so we have purchased top quality Ecuador micro-lots for years and will continue to do so!
Here is what Caravela says about this coffee:
“Among the highlands that surround the canton of Puyango in the province of Loja, 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 species of Palm. This natural resource extends more than 200 hectares and is located close to the Parroquia El Limo. The Bosques de Marfil provides a type of seed that the community uses to create art crafts which they sell to people in other provinces. These crafts generate extra incomes and help overcome harsh economic seasons. In the center of this region El Limu mountain range crosses East to West. In the highlands we were privileged to find a group of 44 small scale producers. The coffee from Altos de Marfil is grown by producers who have a very long tradition in coffee production - meaning they grow traditional varietals favorable for specialty. The average age of these producers is around 60, however most of them are introducing the business to their children. This new generation is eager to continue improving the quality of their coffee.”