Region: Cahuasqui, Ecuador
Farm: Finca la Playa
Altitude: 2100 masl
Processing: Fully Washed, naturally fermented for 24-30 hours
Varietal: Caturra, Castillo
Roast Style: Filter
It’s not often we come across a coffee of the Castillo varietal that has as much complexity as Ruben Guagala’s. Developed by the Colombian Coffee Federation from a hybrid of Arabica and Robusta varieties, Castillo was designed to be hardier and more resistant to leaf rust and as a result is often lacking in sweetness and acidity. Green importers Caravela have worked closely with Ruben in the picking and processing of his Castillo cherries, and their efforts have paid off hugely. The extended fermentation time, implementation of raised African drying beds and a more thorough washing process has resulted in a coffee thats incredibly complex, with tropical fruit sweetness and a warming spice finish.
Finca la Playa is a 15 hectare farm located in the Cahuasqui region, just North of Imbabura volcano. The incredibly mineral-rich volcanic soil coupled with its high altitude and proximity to the Nariño region make for some exceptionally high quality coffee. Ecuador has also increased its legislated minimum wage, meaning its workers are paid up to 5 times more than their Colombian counterparts. Most Ecuadorian farms are only 4 hectares or smaller so export volumes are low; in 2013 Ecuador exported 660,000 bags compared with Colombia's 11.5 million. Ecuador is also predominately an instant coffee exporter, with most government funds going into Robusta plantations and low quality Arabica plantations instead of high quality, specialty farms. Despite all of these challenges, Ruben and Caravela have managed to produce some excellent coffees that we're very excited to share!