Formerly known as 'Ramiro Granda', the work at Finca Siempre Verde is truly a family endeavour, hence our renaming of the latest lot we've secured from these wonderful producers in Ecuador's Pichincha region.
Ramiro and Victoria Granda live on their farm in San Antonio, Pichincha, Ecuador, which has been in the Granda family for 100 years. They’re joined by their children Martín, David & Emilia, grandson Tiago and youngest granddaughter, Elina.
As a trained agronomist, Ramiro tends to the coffee which is planted on just three hectares of their estate, and also avocados, citrus fruits and bananas. These other food crops create supplementary means of income but also support biodiversity of wildlife on the farm. Victoria is a co-owner of the farm and is in charge of quality control procedures and guiding the staff.
The area itself is very dry, but a spring provides fresh water for irrigation on the farm. As well as small amounts of Robusta (after all, Ecuador does produce a lot of instant coffee), they are growing Typica Mejorado, which is actually a cross between Bourbon and Geisha, as well as Typica (gifted to them by Jesuit missionaries).
In 2017 there were some obstacles Ramiro needed to overcome to break into the specialty coffee market. Despite having high quality varieties producing on his farm, he was drying the coffee at his neighbour’s house, and it was improperly done. Poor drying can quickly undo the hard work undertaken at the propagation, harvesting and processing stages. With help from Caravela and their PECA team members, a new infrastructure has been built at the farm, replete with raised beds slung with mesh to allow for optimal ventilation around the drying parchment coffee.
During the harvest season they employ a handful of local people, around 5 in total, to work under Henri, their year-round farm manager, and Victoria. By supplying them with burgundy-coloured wristbands the pickers are able to compare the colour with the coffee on the trees, to enable uniformly ripe selections.
In 2019 Ramiro’s Typica trees, which had been stumped back and not producing for the 2018 crop, were cropping again, and the lot we roasted was a combination of Typica and Typica Mejorado. It isn’t advised to mix varieties at the harvesting stage, as they may require different fermentation protocols and drying times. However, we still got a tonne of sweet, floral character in the Grandas’ coffee last year. This year the lot is entirely Typica Mejorado once again, and the focus and clarity has improved once more.
The Granda family graciously hosted us during a visit to Ecuador in 2019, as we were really interested to visit Finca Siempre Verde for ourselves after enjoying their 2018 crop of coffee so much. They have sent this message around the challenges of 2020:
2020 was a challenging year for coffee producers around the world. For us, it was difficult to get the coffee moving from our farm to places it needed to go—including getting coffee samples and coffee shipments out to potential buyers due to travel restrictions. This made us reflect on the value of relationships with loyal patrons of ours who already knew our coffee and its quality and were willing to work with us through the obstacles and delays. Not only does this reliability help us tremendously, but it also reinforces the effort we put in every day to take our coffee to that next level of excellence. It’s affirming to have our coffee picked up year after year, and we are so thankful for the opportunity to once again partner with Workshop Coffee, who are releasing a batch of our coffee for 2021! We are deeply grateful that they are featuring our coffee for a third time.
San Antonio, Pichincha, Ecuador
Fragrant & complex, we’re picking up on fruity notes of guava, lychee & membrillo. A silky body & brown sugar sweetness complement a lime-like acidity.