This coffee comes with a pedigree: it took first place in two separate competitions in 2019: Best of Quiito-Pichincha and was used in the Ecudorian National Barista Competition by the first place winner.
Juicy flavors of blackberry and lime with support from notes like plum, guava, and plantain draw you in and just won’t let you go. There is copious sweetness, matched in kind by a slippery and unsubtle viscosity like melting dark chocolate. It’s wild and wonderful and finishes with unexpected elegance, and you really just have to try it for yourself.
Farmer Galo Fernando Morales Flores, his wife Maria Alexandra Rivera, and his family grew the coffee on their 70-hectare plot of land in the community of San José de Minas in Pichincha, a small town in the mountains a short ways north of Quito. Besides coffee, the Morales family grow coffee, sugar cane, guanábana (soursop), corn, beans, and oranges on the farm they call Finca Cruz Loma, named for an intersection of road atop the hill.
Don Galo went a little nuts with fermentation technique, though I have to say I’m impressed with the results. Doña Maria explained the details to us. “Once harvested, the coffee is floated. This batch of coffee [ferments] approximately 90 to 94 hours, after this time a pulping process is carried out and it is fermented with a little water of 10 to 12 hours, after this time it is washed and placed in canopies to a pre-drying under shade for 3 days, then placed in canopies for an additional 15 days. Once dried, it is stored in grainpro bags, afterwards the hulling process is performed.”
Catch all that? Fermented both in cherry and parchment, also fully washed with a two-tiered and extended drying period on raised beds under canopy. Thrilling stuff, and what results!