About the Coffee
Tasting Notes · Cotton Candy, Star Fruit, Blackberry
Producer · Galo Morales
Farm · Finca Cruz Loma
Altitude · 1400m
Variety · Typica, Sidra
Process · Natural
The pink river dolphin makes it's home along the banks of the Amazon River in Ecuador. Mysterious and playful, indigenous tales describe them as shapeshifters and gatekeepers to an underwater paradise. A rare find, this offering from Galo Morales embodies the spirit of the pink river dolphin with playful, candy-like notes that shapeshift into a variety of interesting flavors as the cup cools.
Finca Cruz Loma, run by Galo Morales and Maria Alexandra Rivera, is home to some spectacular offerings. In recent years Galo’s name has appeared in various regional and national cupping competitions in Ecuador, if not all-out winning then certainly placing top 3, and setting multiple price records to boot. This year, Morales is the proud first-place champion of Ecuador’s national quality competition, the Taza Dorada. His winning lot sold for an astounding $100 per pound – another record for Ecuadorian coffee prices. It’s official: Finca Cruz Loma is setting the standard for coffees from this region.
Principal harvest months in Pichincha and Imbabura are June to September, but farms often continue picking through December. Ecuador’s namesake position on the Earth’s equator means that medium-altitude coffee enjoys practically a perfect year-round growing season, often with flowering and ripe cherry sharing the same branch most months. For small farms this means a small but long-term labor force to manage the slow, perfectionistic work required for such a drawn-out harvest. In addition to coffee it is common for farms in this area to grow any combination of potatoes, plantains, corn, sugar cane, cacao, soursop and chirimoya, and heart of palm.
As everywhere in the coffee world, harvest on small farms typically involves the whole available 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. In Cruz Loma’s careful natural (or dry processed) method, selectively harvested cherries are washed clean before fermenting in tanks for 24 hours, after which cherries are placed on raised beds under shaded canopies to dry.
Finca Cruz Loma is a 350-hectare plot in the community of San José de Minas, a small town in the northwestern part of Pichincha, a short trip north of Quito. The estate has been in Galo’s family going back 80 years. Galo’s experience in coffee began 20 years ago working alongside his mother on the farm; he would go on to work professionally in the coffee sector, for exporters and as a project manager, before returning to full-time farming. In Galo’s words, “cultivating my coffee is an activity that allows me to apply and develop the skills and habits I’ve learned over the years; it’s also an essential resource for my family, since my wife, my daughters, and myself are all involved with the production and marketing of our coffee. Everybody in the family has a critical role in the coffee’s success.” Like so many of Ecuador’s best coffee producers, he is constantly pushing boundaries and striving for better results: constant experimentation between altitudes, soil types, and cutting-edge plant care techniques are part of what makes his farm successful. In addition, Galo’s experience in the value chain allowed him to found his own export company and create opportunities for other farms by representing their coffees to importers like Royal Coffee whom Prevail partnered with to source this offering.
Ecuador is a fascinating coffee origin, with tons of history and an exciting outlook for the future. The coffees are so delicious, complex, floral, and immaculately processed as to be almost irresistible. These producers are at the forefront of both innovation and impeccable execution, and the results are in the cup: irresistibly clean, juicy, and straight up delicious. Finca Cruz Loma is no exception.
origin information supplied by Royal Coffee.
Constellation Series: Delphinus | Ecuador Cruz Loma