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Steampunk Coffee Roasters

Ecuador Ricardo Vargas

Ecuador Ricardo Vargas

Regular price £17.00 GBP
Regular price Sale price £17.00 GBP
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Region: Pichincha
Altitude: 1500 m.a.s.l.
Variety: Caturra
Processing: Washed 

Tasting Notes: Elegant aromas of fresh spring blossom on the nose followed by distinct peach and nectarine with a long creamy finish. We taste roasted peaches that have begun to gently brown and caramelise around the edges served with a scoop of fresh milk gelato. A truly outstanding coffee.

Ricardo Vargas established his farm, Finca Vallejito, seven years ago after leaving a career as a food engineer. His father-in-law was a coffee farmer so Vargas often helped out on his farm during planting and harvest times. Vargas saw the potential to make a profit by focusing on growing high quality coffee for the specialty market and to impact the local community through job creation. Vargas and his wife Miriam Vallejo named their farm Vallejito in memory of her father whose community-minded ethos has been a big influence on them. 

Vargas takes painstaking care to achieve the quality you taste in his coffee. He keeps careful records to achieve the right fermentation during processing and then he dries it slowly for three to four weeks, which allows the flavour to develop. He’s also invested in the infrastructure on the farm, improving drying stations, the wet mill and looking for the best trees to plant to shade the coffee plants. Finca Vallejito is a 20-hectare farm but only 7 hectares is planted with coffee. Vargas plans to plant more coffee and says that his challenge will be to increase yield without sacrificing quality.

It’s generally hard to find specialty grade Ecuadorian coffee because the annual harvest is relatively small. The country actually imports more coffee than it exports, but Ecuadorians mostly drink instant coffee imported from Vietnam. They also grow a lot more Robusta (a lower quality species of coffee) than Arabica. According to Caravela, the importers who brought us this coffee, a combination of demographic, climate and market trends have drastically reduced the amount of coffee produced in Ecuador over the last decade.  “This shift from quantity, however, has yielded a core of quality,” they report.

A note about packaging

Our coffee comes packaged in beautiful and hard wearing tins. It is important to keep those beans away from air and light (see our blog post about coffee storage) and we think tins are the very best way of keeping those guys fresh. 

Tins can of course be easily recycled (with other metals) but the very best and most environmentally conscious thing to do with them is to refill them. Find out how to refill or dispose of your Steampunk packaging HERE.

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