Fruity notes or even chocolate? Ecuador coffee has a great range of flavors and aromas in each variety produced in this small but surprisingly diverse land.
While historically coffee in Ecuador has been produced for mass consumption or exportation, today we are seeing a growing trend for small, family run coffee farms, and organic plantations. This can only be good news for local coffee lovers!
Read on to learn more about Ecuadorian coffee, as well as where to find the best cup of Joe in Quito City.
Ecuador Coffee – A Brief History
Since the beginning of the 19th century, Ecuadorian coffee has been grown in the Manabi province in the coastal region. As many as 2 million sacks per year were exported little by little from Manta port to the European market until excessive supply from Vietnam cheapened coffee prices generating great loses for Ecuadorian producers.
Fortunately, today we are witnessing something of a re-birth for Ecuador coffee as contemporary exclusive consumer trends search for new and unique coffee experiences … and that’s exactly what Ecuador is bringing to the table.
This country’s generous climate makes all year long harvest possible. Both Arabica and Robusta coffee beans grow from sea level up to 2000 meters. The main provinces for coffee cultivation are Manabi, Pichincha, Imbabura, El Oro, Loja, Carchi, Azuay, Galápagos, Zamora Chinchipe and Napo. The most common varieties you will find are Bourbon, Typica, Caturra, and Sidra.
Contemporary Ecuadorian Coffee Trends
Around 100.000 families are involved in the coffee production process. To be able to charge prime prices requires a high-quality product, so these families are learning to use finer processing techniques, such as organic methods for insecticides and pesticides during growth.
More and more coffee excellence micro lots are being offered into the Ecuadorian market, so coffee shops and bar staff in Ecuador can improve the quality of the raw materials they receive, and create better experiences for locals and tourists to enjoy.
Where To Find The Best Coffee Shops In Quito
In Quito, there is a whole new wave of coffee shops providing delicious cups of coffee and latte art with talented baristas. Among them I can specifically recommend a few:
La Traviesa is a specialty coffee shop that is committed to delight their customers with a sensorial vision. Different elements are combined to accomplish this: great food that goes well with the coffee options, cheerful and professional staff and, of course, plenty of coffee varieties to enjoy with different brewing methods.
Stratto makes you feel like home. This hidden spot uses organic and local producers to create their 100% Ecuadorian menu. You will discover delicious gourmet beverages, using different methods. The ambiance is perfect for you to go with friends or relax with a book by the terrace.
Isveglio is a coffee shop, a school and much more besides. Minimalistic and passionate for coffee, their goal is to expand coffee culture in Ecuador. An important alliance with Finca Frajares located in Nanegalito, province of Pichincha, gives them the opportunity to directly manage and advise producers about good practices and coffee quality. Their location in both the historical center of Quito and the new town Mariscal area makes them very accessible for tourists who want to sample a superior coffee here.
Don’t lose your chance to visit these coffee shops and discover in every sip a different side of Ecuador. Each region will captivate your palate and give you a new and surprising coffee experience.
Traviesa. Humboldt N27-77 y San Ignacio. Behind Colegio La Inmaculada.
Stratto. Giacomo Rocca N33-29 y Bosmediano. Inside 1865 Museo Rock Ecuatoriano.
Isveglio. Venezuela N3-157 y Eugenio Espejo. 2nd floor. In front of Banco Pichincha. They also have another shop at Reina Victoria N24-263 & Juan Rodriguez in the Galeria boutique shop.
Karlha Echeverría studied hospitality management and gastronomy in Buenos Aires, Argentina in UADE and IAG. She specialises in communication and food journalism in Madrid at the Foodie Studies. Karlha worked in and out of Ecuador managing restaurants and coffee shops. Currently, she is a creative writer for Revista Chiú (revistachiu.com) digital magazine about culture and ecuadorian gastronomy.
Photo credits: Chiú Diario, David P.