Ecuador is a challenging origin for most roasters. The fact is, coffee from Ecuador is expensive and next to other South American coffees, it is difficult to make the price work. A number of unique economic factors contribute to the high price tag. Most significantly, Ecuador uses US currency, making all of the country’s exports more expensive. When oil prices collapsed, the government raised taxes and tariffs on imports, making things like farm equipment and fertilizers more expensive, increasing the cost of producing coffee. Ecuador also enforces strict labor laws, requiring full time workers make a living wage, receive health care, and paid time off. All of these increased costs put the pressure on farmers to produce the highest quality coffees possible on the tightest possible margins.
While the economic circumstances make Ecuador an interesting conversation, the coffee produced there is incredibly unique. Through Red Fox Coffee Merchants, we purchased this washed Sidra from producer Guillermo Lomas in the Pichincha region of Ecuador. Guillermo’s coffee stood out for its quality as well as its novelty to us. Sidra is a relatively new and rare cross between Red Bourbon and Typica which is said to have originated in Ecuador. We’ve only come across this variety a few times and have never had the opportunity to purchase it. Guillermo’s coffee offers flavors that are sweet and spicy with a touch of sage.