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Ecuador – Pablo Ponce – Sidra – Microlot

In Stock: 88 Lbs
Ecuador
La Perla, Nanegal, Pichincha
Perla Chiquita
Sidra
2450 masl
Washed
Rich, sweet, and savory with a sugary mouthfeel and lemon, floral and chocolate flavors.
87
Medium (City Roast)

Taste: The aroma of this coffee, both before grinding and after brewing, is almost (almost!) better than the taste.  It’s fragrance is a bit like butter toffee candy and dried fruit.  The taste profile is complex and distinct exhibiting floral sweetness, chocolate, and a big, opulent mouthfeel.  The taste matches its high cupping score.

Roast: Medium – stop just before second crack.  You’ll capture the complexity of this bean if you don’t go too dark.

About: Pablo Ponce owns the 5-hectare farm Perla Chiquita, where 1 hectare is planted with about 2,300 Bourbon trees. Coffees at Perla Chiquita are picked ripe and dry fermented for 12–14 hours before being washed four or five times. They’re then given a pre-dry on cement patios before being moved to raised beds. Drying can take between 10–14 days, depending on the climate conditions.

History of Equador Coffee:

Coffee came to Ecuador in the middle of the 19th century, planted in the low-altitude region of Manabi, which ranges from 500–700 meters. The region is still the largest area for Arabica production, producing about 50 percent of the country’s Arabica yield, though better-quality Arabica can be found elsewhere, at higher elevation.

Coffee didn’t become a major commercial venture in Ecuador until the late 1920s, when the cacao industry was threatened by disease—even then, coffee has largely remained an afterthought to the national economy, and production dropped greatly during the price crises of the 1990s and in the early 2000s. Ecuador’s economy is largely reliant on petroleum, and less so on agriculture than many other coffee-growing countries.

The country’s elevation ranges from sea level all the way to above 2,000 meters—a wide-ranging difference of terrain and climate that, combined with the specific challenges equated with its location on the Equator, provide a unique—but not impossible to overcome—challenges. Selective harvesting is especially difficult: Due to the country’s location on the Equator, the coffee needs to be harvested throughout the year. A branch will often contain all stages of the coffee’s developmental cycle in one: green coffee, ripe coffee, and blossoms side by side. This forces a farmer to hold some coffee, while processing and harvesting enough for export, and it also leads to higher labor costs due to the extended picking cycle.

Starting in the first decade of the 2000s, however, the specialty boom happening in neighboring Colombia and even in northern Peru inspired entrepreneurial coffee producers to invest in good Arabica varieties, improved practices—picking ripe and better processing, rather than simply letting the coffee dry on the tree as café en bola, the traditional method—and advanced marketing strategies. Increasingly, single-farm, single-variety, and innovating processing lots are finding their way to forward-thinking mills, exporters, importers, and roasters.

The promise of Sidra:

One of the most interesting developments to happen in Ecuadoran soil is the appearance of a new cultivar, called Sidra. A cross between a Bourbon and a Typica variety (themselves genetically relatively closely related), these coffees can express very unique fruity and floral characteristics. When grown at higher altitudes and processed meticulously, these coffees stand out on the cupping table, and have the potential to bring Ecuador into the spotlight as a specialty-producing country.

*Microlot Coffee Offerings: Farmers are paid quality premiums for any microlot coffee, which reflects the extra planning, effort, labor, and attention to detail required to produce them, as well as rewarding the ultimate job well done.


 

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Comments

  1. Kristin Peterson says:

    This coffee bean makes a lovely, chocolaty cup of coffee. The aroma of the roasted beans reminds me of a chocolate shop except this shop sells dark, bittersweet chocolate none of that milky British chocolate. So long as we are on this culinary trip maybe next door there is a wine shop that emanates the aroma of dark, ruby red pinot noir. That was the aroma the roasted beans conjured up for me.
    When roasted at medium (full city) the aroma of dark chocolate remains. The cup of brewed (strong) coffee served black, is aromatic, smooth and creamy. If you add cream it actually loses some of its character and when I compared it with my freshly roasted Colombian Excelso, both with cream, it actually lost that taste test. Black it was slightly superior due to less acid and thus a smoothness in your mouth that the Colombian lacked.
    In the end, for me, this bean is, like some other South American beans, a treat. I might not choose it every day but if I want something impressive, this would be the bean I might choose.

    • Martin Russo says:

      Thanks Kris! This was our first Ecuador offering and it was impressive. Thanks for the detailed review – very helpful to us and to our customers! And we’re glad your experience induced a “virtual” culinary journey;) If you don’t mind we’ll share your thoughts in our next newsletter. I’m sure a larger audience would find your analysis VERY helpful.

      Marty

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