When tasting this coffee, you could be fooled that this is from Africa. The acidity reminds us a lot of a Kenyan coffee, which is no surprise as Ecuador has been producing some excellent coffees in recent years. Ecuadorian coffees don’t usually fit the typical South American flavour vibe and this beautiful coffee from Rolando and his family is a great example of this.
Rolando’s farm is located within the municipality of Espindola in the Southern most part of Ecuador bordering Peru. The surrounding land is lush with forests and rivers, with the Airo river providing most of the water for the farm, Las Vegas. Rolando has been involved in coffee from a young age with his father incubating a curiosity from childhood. Around 4 years ago he felt his knowledge of producing coffee was good enough that he could make a living from it and so applied for a loan to help him start the dream of his own coffee farm with his wife.
Las Vegas (the farm name) is actually based inside the El Condor Reserve, which encouraged their operation to use environmentally friendly practices and to produce some of the coffee organically. Two years ago, Rolando started focussing more on quality so he could sell his coffee for higher prices. In speciality coffee if you achieve a certain quality score with your harvest, then in theory importers and coffee roasters will buy the coffee for a higher price. For reference, when we purchased this lot we paid £11 /KG of green coffee.
Coffee has united his immediate and wider family as all of them play an integral role in its production with his wife overseeing the administrative aspects and hiring workers. Their current goals are to increase production, keep improving the quality and improve the wet mill. We hope to go back to Rolando and his family next harvest with a higher premium for their efforts.