Region: San José de Minas, Pichincha, Ecuador
Farm: Galo Fernando Morales Flores, Finca Cruz Loma
Process: Double anaerobic fermented, washed
Variety: Sidra, Typica Mejorada
Altitude: 1450 metres
Juicy plum, sweet lemon, cherry and rosewater, complex and silky
This offering from Ecuador is a stunner: an experimental washed coffee produced by Galo Fernando Morales Flores, Maria Alexandra and their family on their 173-acre farm, Finca Cruz Loma, in northern Ecuador. A double anaerobic washed process, ripe coffee cherries are floated and then fermented whole for 90-94 hours before pulping and fermenting again in parchment underwater for 10-12 hours, then fully washed and dried on raised beds for 18 days. This meticulous process yields a spectacular cup which we find to be complex and silky with rosewater, juicy plum, and sweet citrus notes.
Finca Cruz Loma is a family operation, with Galo and his daughters driving the technical aspects of production while Galo’s wife Maria Alexandra handles marketing and promotion. “We work in a team as a family, and we all fulfill a critical role. Each of us has a responsibility we must deliver on so that our coffee is successful," said Maria Alexandra when asked which role is most critical in farm operations. Over twenty years ago, Galo and his four brothers took the farm over from their parents, who had inherited the work from Galo's grandparents. The high cost of production in Ecuador increases the difficulty of competing in a global market. In addition to coffee, Galo cultivates coffee, sugar cane, guanábana (soursop), corn, beans, and oranges.
The past five years have found the Morales family digging deeper into specialty coffee. Galo's focus is quality, as evidenced by awards and recognition within the industry, including a first-place finish in the 2019 Best of Quito-Pichincha coffee competition. Of his experience and vision Galo says, “Growing coffee allows me to continue to develop and apply the skills and abilities I’ve learned over these years." This is apparent as each harvest brings not only more delicious coffee, but more unusual processes as well. We're energized by the Morales family's dedication to pushing the limits of their crop and craft as they continue to draw inspiration from the coffee itself to showcase just how special Ecuadorian coffee can be.
Currently, Galo is working on building a cupping lab where he can work on strategies for further improving quality as well as training other producers on how to produce specialty coffee.