Coffee is grown around the world. You can find blends from Asia, Africa, and across South America, but if you looking for the best tasting coffee, you have to look to Ecuador. Ecuador is one of only 15 countries that grow both Arabica and Robusta beans, the two main categories of coffee.
Origins of coffee production in Ecuador
Beginning in the 19th century, coffee was introduced into Ecuador. The first coffee plantations were established in the coastal areas of the Manabí Province in the 1860s. As one of the most biologically diverse countries on the planet, Ecuador’s unique ecosystem was the perfect place for this plant to thrive, and coffee soon became one of Ecuador’s top exports.
Diverse regions in Ecuador produce the best tasting coffee in the world
The country itself is only about the size of Colorado, but its unique geography – straddling the equator with both coastal regions along the Pacific and high elevations in the Andes Mountains – comes together in a way not seen anywhere else in the world. Because of its geography, Ecuador has an amazingly diverse climate from region to region, with a variety of temperatures and rainfall patterns. The highland areas tend to be moderate and cool, growing products that are associated with more northern latitudes, while the coastal areas are warm and tropical, with fertile soils. Along with coffee beans, the country is also known for producing cacao, bananas, mangoes, citrus fruit, sugar, avocados (from which they produce Avocado oil), and rice. Coffee beans are often planted alongside these other crops, which also affects the taste of the coffee that is produced.
The amazing biodiversity of the region and richness of its volcanic soils allow Ecuador to grow the best tasting coffee in the world
Coffee beans are grown in several different regions throughout Ecuador, resulting in coffee with different characteristics. Two hours north of Quito, at the western foothills of the Andes Mountains, is a region known as the Intag Valley. This elevated area is famous for growing Arabica coffee beans that have the perfect balance of acidity, sweetness and bitterness. The Pichincha province in the northwest region of the country grows mainly Robusta coffee beans. This region offers the most complex and diverse coffee, with high acidity, body and a complex aroma. To the south, Loja produces coffee with defined acidity, medium sweetness and a delicate aroma. One of the most unique coffee-growing regions is the Galapagos Islands. Here, cool winds and the rich volcanic soil produce coffee that is delicious, well balanced and rounded. Coffee from this region also has less acidity than high-altitude coffees. In a nutshell, the biodiversity of Ecuador results in the best tasting coffee in the world.
Unfortunately, in the 1980s, the Ecuadorian coffee industry fell into a decline. It has significantly diminished since 1997 and now only 1% of all coffee comes from Ecuador. That’s a real shame because the amazing biodiversity of the region and rich volcanic soils have led to the country growing the best tasting coffee in the world. But coffee lovers, never fear!
In recent years, the Ecuadorian coffee industry has taken off again, thanks to local farmers, new, specialized practices, and local roasters.
Unlike farming practices in the early 19th century when coffee was originally introduced in Ecuador, modern farming practices have transformed the industry. This makes growing coffee easier on the farmers and the environment. It’s also helped small, local farmers establish practices that can be passed down to the next generation, which helps the economy by creating new jobs.
The passionate producers set up their farms on nutrient-rich soil where local wildlife, like birds and butterflies, can fertilize crops naturally. This allows the flavors of other local crops, like cacao and bananas, to become incorporated into the beans, giving Ecuadorian coffee a unique flavor profile when compared to coffees from other regions of the world.
While these innovative farming techniques have helped to create the best tasting coffee, we also must recognize the work of Ecuador’s specialty roasters. In years past, coffee beans grown in Ecuador were taken overseas for roasting and processing, but no more. Now, coffee is produced in the country and there is national pride from those who work to create flavorful, aromatic brews that can be enjoyed throughout the world.
Now, local roasters have made their debuts, and by roasting the beans when they’re fresh, the flavor is enhanced even further.
If you want to sample a cup of Ecuadorian coffee to see if it really is the best tasting coffee around, visit Sense Ecuador. You’ll find gourmet coffee from the different areas of the country and uncover the delicious, natural taste that sets our coffee apart.
Explore Ecuador’s coffee varieties today and discover a whole new world of flavor: