We’re halfway through roasting our coffee selections from Ecuador for the year and are massively happy with this new release from Felipe Abad. A cousin of Luis Alfonso Abad, whose coffee we’ve been roasting for a few weeks now, Felipe also lives in the South of the country, and so we are fulfilling the Southern component of our North/South tasting pack with his coffee grown at Finca El Aguacatillal.
Growing up in a coffee producing family, it took many years for Felipe to come around to the idea of throwing himself wholeheartedly into coffee production. In La Diversión, where Felipe grew up, his family tended to several lots of coffee as well as other crops. Once old enough, Felipe moved to Nuevos Horizontes and initially eschewed the family tradition of coffee production in favour of raising cattle. After a few years as a cattle farmer, he was convinced through conversations with friends and neighbours to diversify and plant coffee and other crops to ensure a more secure income, so, in 2011 he planted Catimor and Caturra on his farm with the help of his wife, Maria. They were initially selling the coffee at modest prices, but from 2013 started implementing certain practices and protocols that allowed them to tap into the specialty coffee market and sell their production at a premium. Moving focus onto their Caturra trees for specialty coffee production, which is planted on around 70% of their 10-hectare farm and under Guabo shade trees, the extra income from selling the coffee at a premium price has enabled the Abads to build a house at the farm. This allows Felipe and his family to be able to work their coffee trees every day, improving both yield and quality.
Initially selecting ripe cherries from their Caturra trees is the first step in ensuring a higher quality product. These are then depulped and left to dry-ferment for 24 hours, helping develop more complexity in the resulting cup of coffee. The fermented coffee is then fully washed and dried on raised beds in the sun, allowing for ventilation around the seeds, allowing them to dry more slowly and in a controlled, uniform manner. All of these steps mean that when you drink Felipe & Maria’s coffee, you’re able to get a true sense of the terroir of Zamora-Chinchipe. We get a lot of the classic flavours to be expected from Southern Ecuadorian coffees, such as deep caramels, dark fruits and a rich mouthfeel, but this particular lot also has a more intense, winey acidity giving it a very unique, moreish character.
Nuevos Horizontes, Zamora-Chinchipe, Ecuador
Tangy, sweet & winey, expect blueberry & blackberry fruit tones. The body is resinous & caramelly, leading to a berry compote finish.