Produced by a small network of farmers organized around Galo Morales' Finca Cruz Loma, this traditional washed coffee comes to us from Pichincha, Ecuador. The flavor profile is delicate and slightly tropical with fruit notes of honeydew melon at the front and caramelized sugars with hints of floral in the cup.
This coffee is a blend of various small family farms from the Pichincha and Imbabura provinces. In total, 150 hectares are sourced and curated by Galo and Maria Alexandra. The principal harvest months in Pichincha and Imbabura are June to September, but farms often continue picking through December.
Ecuador's position on the Earth's equator means that medium-altitude coffee essentially enjoys a perfect year-round growing season, often with flowering and ripe cherries sharing the same branch during most months. For small farms this means a small but long-term labor force to manage the slow exacting work required for such a drawn-out harvest. In addition to coffee, it's common for farms in the area to grow any combination of produce.
Harvest on small farms typically involves the entire family as well as hired pickers. Coffee in Pichincha and Imbabura is processed at home on personal equipment and dried on hand-made structures and greenhouses. Cherry is depulped immediately after picking and fermented in sealed tanks, known as "anaerobic" fermentation, for 1-2 days. After fermentation, the parchment is thoroughly washed and moved to raised beds under a shade canopy for a slow and even drying stage.
Galo and Maria Alexandra, the managers and curators of this small-farm blend, manage their own Finca Cruz Loma, a 350-hectare plot in the community of San Jose de Minas. The estate has been in Galo's family for 80 years. Galo's experience in the value chain has positioned his family to create opportunities for other farms by representing their coffees to exporters.