Introduced into Ecuador around the middle of the 19th century, coffee was originally planted in the low-altitude region of Manabí. Still producing about 50% of the Arabica yield for the country, Manabí remains a dominant region in Ecuador although other higher elevation regions are known to produce better quality coffee.
Coffee became a major commercial industry after the cacao industry suffered, due to disease, in the late 1920s although the economy remains largely reliant on its petroleum. Located on the Equator brings unique challenges for coffee farmers, a single coffee branch will often contain coffee at all stages of development: green coffee, ripe coffee and blossoms, side-by-side. Consequently the plants must be harvested throughout the year which leads to increased labor costs. Additionally, with wide-ranging altitudes as high as 2.000 meters (6,561 feet), jungle regions to the east and ocean to the west, results in slight climatic changes having a significant impact on farmland.
Inspired by successes in specialty coffee experienced by neighboring Colombia, entrepreneurial producers invested in good Arabica varieties and improved practices during the latter part of the first decade of the 2000s. This shift in focus has lead to an increase in higher quality single-farm, single-variety coffees.
The development of a new cultivar, Sidra, a cross between a Bourbon and a Typica variety introduces significant promise for Ecuadorian coffee. These coffees can express a unique fruity, floral characteristics which, when grown at high altitudes and processed meticulously, can really stand out among specialty coffee.
Carchi, El Oro, Loja, Galapagos, Manabi, Pichincha, Zamora-Chinchipe
Bourbon, Typica, Caturra, Sidra
Washed, Natural, some Honey and experimental processes
January - December