Rosa Abad – specialty coffee and say “cheese”!

In Ecuador, Field Trip by Pira0 Comments

We are extremely proud to feature our first female farmer. Rosa Abad is one of only eleven women who are part of ACRIM, a coffee cooperative with 135 producers from Zamora-Chinchipe, Ecuador. The coffee industry is still dominated by men, although in reality farming involves entire families.

Some roasters know Rosa for excellent specialty coffee. What most people might not know, she also produces outstanding farm cheese, which she supplies to local restaurants in Zumba. During our farm visit, we had the chance to try her delicious queso, Spanish for cheese, and quesillo refers to cheese without salt. The local custom is to eat quesillo with panela – a great combination and a very filling meal!

Rosa is super nice and humble. She is very talented with life-long coffee experience. We have been told she won numerous awards for her microlots, and we are convinced the coffee we selected from her this season will be a winner as well. It’s our best specialty coffee from Ecuador.

Her organic farm on 1710m is situated at an idyllic spot on the mountain range Rancho Carmen. A waterfall runs by near her farm, which makes this scenic landscape appear even more like a dreamland. She grows red and yellow Caturra, Pacas and Typica. The coffee plants carry colourful coffee cherries due to a slow ripening process. The farm is stretching steep into the valley, with a huge fig tree in the middle of the farm. Platano trees are providing most of the shade and random fruit trees can be found as well.

The coffee is depulped at her farm and then sun-dried on covered, raised beds at her son’s farm at about five minutes driving distance. The drying process takes fifteen or more days depending on the sun.

Rosa’s coffee surprised us with very interesting, lively cup characteristics. The fragrance/aroma suggest floral and fresh fruity notes. We tasted sweet yellow fruits, next to chocolate and caramel. This coffee is extremely clean, dynamic and multi-layered, with fresh pineapples and mangoes emerging in the second layer. We enjoyed the coffee even when it was cooling, while maintaining its balance and exhibiting a symphony of sweet tropical flavours. It was extremely challenging to score this coffee given its complexity, and we concluded it is 86+ points. We light roasted our coffee for cupping purposes under SCAA standards, however we believe experienced roasters will be able to reveal the full potential of this exceptional coffee.

Same as with our other microlots from Ecuador, we agreed to buy the peak crop (July to September), ship the coffee right afterwards and expect its arrival in the UK in early November. The past six weeks in Ecuador were incredible! From here, we continue our field trip to Colombia, where we plan to source four to six microlots and have them available in mid-August. Keep an eye on our website, instagram or twitter for updates.

Rosa Abad's farm cheese (quesillo) with panela - super delicious!

Rosa Abad’s delicious farm cheese (quesillo) with panela

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