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Ecuador

Finca La Colina

This Sidra from Wilter Guillermo is sweet and silky with lots of candy-like flavours. We taste lime, lemon sherbet, and black tea

Body     Acidity
Roasted omni for filter and espresso

The second Ecuadorian ever in our VS coffee lineup! This precious lot features an acclaimed Sidra varietal cultivated at a relatively low altitude.


VERY SPECIAL

Aside from a silky texture, candy-like flavours and overall fantastic profile, two additional facts made us pick Finca La Colina as the Very Special feature for early March ‘23.

First is the varietal. Sidra is rare, and we don’t know much about it (it’s not even listed on the World Coffee Research archive). However, it definitely has a reputation for its cupping potential, as more and more World Coffee Championship competitors choose to use it alongside Geisha.

Second is this lot’s higher-than-average price. Ecuadorian green coffees are generally more expensive than other producing countries’ due to a complex combination of political, economic and social factors (that we’ll try to summarise below).

All in all, a precious, tasty lot with some unusual traits—a true VS.



SIDRA VARIETAL

Sidra (also known as Sydra or Bourbon Sidra) is a relatively new hybrid varietal descending of Red Bourbon and Typica. It has acquired the sweetness and the body of the first and the bright taste and acidity of the second.

According to Daily Grind, it is believed that Sidra comes from the Pichincha province in Ecuador, where it may have been created as a research project by a Nestlé local breeding facility that developed hybrids using Ethiopian and Bourbon varieties.


ECUADOR: IT’S COMPLICATED

As Caravela Coffee tells us, the high price of Ecuadorian green coffees comes down to (1) low national supply/high global demand, (2) low productivity and yields compared to other producing countries and (3) very high costs of production (~2 times more expensive compared to its neighbours, caused by Ecuador’s dollarized economy). Add to this the toll of emigration, pushing the average age of farmers to “60 years old”. It really is complicated.

If we dig deeper, we find a curious aspect that may contribute to this global imbalance: Ecuador’s status as one of the largest exporters of instant coffee. Yes, quite weird.

While the country produces a small portion of the global green coffee output, it’s one of the largest exporters of instant coffee ( mainly to Germany and Russia, where this country has a wide presence and established reputation). To do that, they import high volumes of green coffee from other countries like Vietnam, which they mix, process and finally sell as a finished soluble (Ecuadorian) product.

For national coffee producers, it’s easy to enter this established market; it offers low risk and decent rewards. On the contrary, producing specialty coffee brings a lot of unknowns, fierce global competition and selling prices that are hard to match. No wonder there are few who dare.

On the bright side, looking at the future, there is a blooming generation of growers who believe there’s a fair life and business to be made by producing high-quality arabica beans. One of them is Wilter Guillermo—respect.


WILTER GUILLERMO’S DREAM

Like everyone here, Guillermo’s days start with a cup of coffee; he loves drinking it. Unlike everyone here, Guillermo decided to transform this passion into his profession, and even though he had no experience, he started his own coffee farm—Finca La Colina.

In 2014, he planted the first coffee trees. Even though he didn’t know much, the first harvest went relatively well; he made mistakes, and he learnt from them, but he also had many wins. It was all personal growth and self-learning, a dream come true.

In 2016, he produced a decent output: 540 kilograms of high-quality dry parchment that entered the specialty coffee market and, later that year, achieved 5th place in the Taza Dorada competition. Not bad for a beginner.



Despite all the highs, the hardships of agriculture crept up, and he had difficulties to produce a healthy, consistent harvest. He was close to giving up. Luckily, with the help of an agronomist and the support of Caravela’s PECA program he was able to introduce quality and environmental improvements that brought some stability and profit.

Today, he’s still here, and we feel damn lucky to drink Wilter Guillermo’s Very Special coffee.


THIS LOT

The cherries have grown at a relatively low altitude (~1370 masl) under partial shade provided by Guamo and Plantain trees. After being picked completely ripe, they’ve been fully washed and fermented for 14 hours, then dried on raised beds in a covered patio.



All images and information about this coffee and producers have been kindly shared by its importer, Caravela, and edited by us, Sample Coffee (unless linked to or credited otherwise).

 

Resting beans inside the sealed bag helps develop peak flavours and acidity

Learn how long and why you should wait in our brewing window recommendations.

Try our brew recipes and videos

Our brewguide recipes are easy to follow and designed to bring the best out of our coffee.

1:3
dose:yield
ratio

To brew on espresso, we recommend using 20g of beans (dose) to get 60g of espresso out (yield), during 24-28 seconds.

g dose
g yield
View the how to brew espresso (single origin) guide.

1:16.7
beans:water
ratio

To brew in infusion/fed brewers (V60, Chemex) use a ratio of 1:16.7 ratio of beans:water.

g beans
g water
View full recipes and videos in our brewguides

1:14.3
beans:water
ratio

To brew in immersion brewers (plunger, AeroPress, Kalita, batch brewer) we recommend using a 1:14.3 ratio of beans:water

g beans
g water
View full recipes and videos in our brewguides

1:12
beans:water
ratio

To brew as cold brew we recommend using a 1:12 ratio of beans:water

g beans
g water
View full recipes and videos in our brewguides

Producer

Wilter Guillermo Lomas Lopez

Country

Ecuador

Region

Parroquia

Altitude

1370m above sea level

Varietals

Sidra

Process

Washed

Body

Acidity

Tasting notes

Lime, lemon sherbet, black tea

Roast style

Omniroast

Varietals

Sidra varietal

Sidra (also known as Sydra or Bourbon Sidra) is a new hybrid varietal, made of Red Bourbon and Typica and combines characteristics of these two varieties. It has acquired the sweetness and the body of Red Bourbon and the bright taste and acidity of Typica.

The location

Coffee from Ecuador

For a long time most of Ecuador’s coffee production was for commodity grade export or the production of soluble coffees (freeze dried coffee). Only in the last few years has the potential of the country’s coffee production been really explored. We’re very excited about the potential Ecuador and have some truly exceptional coffees

Farm processes

Washed process

Machines are used to remove the flesh from the coffee cherry before being fermented in water, washed again, and finally sun dried. This process tends to result in more distinct, cleaner flavours.


Coffee delivery: coffee in resealable bag and farm information card

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