Last year we expanded our offering from Ecuador, releasing a range of filter coffees from four different producers, as well as an espresso from the Mitad del Mundo community. We’ve managed to secure lots from all but one of these producers this year, with Mitad del Mundo Espresso in the pipeline to begin roasting shortly, and Jorge Tapia’s coffee already in our range. We also have a lot from Ramiro Granda coming out soon, and are happy to once again be roasting coffee from Felipe Abad.
Upon cupping Felipe’s fresh harvest during a trip to Ecuador in September we jotted down notes such as “super sweet”, “crisp, Kenya-like fruit” and “oh my!”. Upon the reveal seeing it was Felipe’s coffee once again performing at such a high level we were thrilled to be able to pursue it again for a second season.
Felipe lives in the South of the country, growing coffee on his farm Finca El Aguacatillal. Growing up in a coffee producing family, it took many years for him 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
Fresh grape, pine & plummy flavours are offset by an oolong tea-like minerality. Jammy sweetness lingers in a clean finish.