Having garnered experience in coffee production from a young age, William Abad and his family are evolving their approach at Finca Los Pinos, looking for ways to improve quality whilst also protecting their environment.
The Farm & Their Approach
Finca Los Pinos spans 4 hectares, and coffee is grown throughout the farm, amidst various shade trees including acacia, cedar, and laurels and in amongst other foods too, like guavas, figs and citrus fruits. The varieties they are growing are primarily Typica, with Caturra and Typica Mejorado planted out as well. The farm is in Zumba, right at the south of the country and close to the border with Peru.
Felling trees on the farm is forbidden, and wild animals on the farm are left alone. They manually clear weeds from amongst the trees. They have been working on better ways tom manage the waste waters created by washing coffee during processing and to utilise the piles of discarded coffee cherry skins, known as ‘pulpa’. The whole family pitches in when it comes to crop husbandry practices, with William and his father and three brothers undertaking tasks like pruning, managing pests and clearing between the trees whilst his mother and wife, Ana Lucía, oversee the selection of cherries at harvest time and manage the drying areas. William has been implementing strict procedures when it comes to how the coffee is processed, and is trialling a long, sealed fermentation (often described as anaerobic) of 120 hours to ferment the depulped coffee before washing.
Caravela Coffee, with whom we have been lucky to travel with in Ecuador, are a Carbon Neutral B Corp with a boots-on-the-ground approach, employing a team of agronomists to run their PECA training program. This form of farmer outreach is extremely valuable, not just in raising the quality and quantity of a producer’s outturns through dispensing agronomical advice, but in predicting yields, planning and financial support. Ecuador boasts a negative carbon footprint for green coffee production, with -0.5kg carbon emmitted per kilo of green produced, thanks in part to the native forestry maintained and protected on coffee farms acting as a carbon sink, as well as minimal use of fertilisers and agro-inputs. Caravela have been working in Ecuador since 2007 and now support a network of over 200 individual coffee farmers and families. Their main buying hub for the south is in Catamayo. After being cupped and graded, blended lots are composed and the parchment coffee is moved to Quito to be hulled and have the quality refined and homogenised at Caravela’s own dry mill.
Zumba, Zamora-Chinchipe, Ecuador
Very refined & generous, we’re tasting fruity notes of yellow plum, cherry & white grape. A smooth, glossy body & juicy acidity complement aromas of elderflower.