Ecuador La Perla Chiquita Espresso Coffee

$ 18.00$ 50.00

Black cherry, vanilla, cocoa, brown sugar.

Farm: La Perla Chiquita
Producer: Pablo Ponce
Region: Pichincha, Nanegal, Recinto La Perla
Variety: Bourbon
Process: Washed
Altitude: 2,450 masl


Espresso MachinePlungerStove Top

We’re excited to introduce our first offering from this origin: the exceptional Ecuador La Perla Chiquita by Pablo Ponce to our single origin menu. Pablo Ponce owns the 5-hectare farm Perla Chiquita, where 1 hectare is planted with about 2,300 Bourbon trees. Coffees at Perla Chiquita are picked ripe and dry fermented for 12–14 hours before being washed four or five times. They’re then given a pre-dry on cement patios before being moved to raised beds. Drying can take between 10–14 days, depending on the climate conditions.

Ecuador is tiny compared to its big coffee-growing neighbours (Brazil, Peru and Colombia) which is part of the reason we see so few Ecuadorian coffees in our market. For a small country, Ecuador has an impressive amount of diversity – in climate, in varieties, and in farms and farming practices. Coffee was introduced in Ecuador early in the nineteenth century, and remained one of Ecuador’s top export crops through the 1970s. Coffee didn’t become a major commercial venture in Ecuador until the late 1920s, when the cacao industry was threatened by disease—even then, coffee has largely remained an afterthought to the national economy, and production dropped greatly during the price crises of the 1990s and in the early 2000s.

Coffee production in Ecuador is declining because factors including low productivity from farms per hectare on average is 400kg which is a third of neighbouring countries. The dollarisation to give up its local currency and adopt the US dollar which has a knock-on effect on producing communities – and in particular has prompted many to leave the farm behind. Emigration because of Ecuador’s financial struggles, younger generations have left the farms and often abroad leaving the older generation to tend the farms with an average age of a coffee producer being 60 years old. High productions costs due to the dollarisation with price of goods appreciating faster being tied to strength of US economy and with that, wages also need to increase. About half a million people depend on coffee for their livelihood in Ecuador, which is about 1 out of every 8 farmers and their families. An unbearable poverty is the reality for small coffee farmers and has led to the abandonment of many coffee plantations.

The specialty boom from the first decade of the 2000s happening in neighbouring Colombia and Peru inspired entrepreneurial Ecuadorian coffee producers to invest in good Arabica varieties, improved practices and advanced marketing strategies. Increasingly, single-farm, single-variety, and innovating processing lots are finding their way to forward-thinking mills, exporters, importers, and roasters. We look forward to seeing more delicious coffees coming from this amazing small country.