Ecuador is producing some exciting coffee these days. What makes it better is that the farms are typically small and the variety of flavour potential is enormous. For speciality coffee, this is perfect when the quality is high and the coffee in short supply. There is real competition to get these coffees and the prices are much higher than we pay to larger producers.
This is our third year with Franjares and I cannot get over how good this coffee is. Reading my notes, I don’t know if I was this excited about it last year?
Farmer: Francisco Javier Restrepo & Gabriela Valarezo
Farm: Finca Franjares
Farm size: 5 Hectares
Varietal: Etiopia ML (Hybrid varietal unique to Ecuador, originating with Ethiopian varietals)
Process: Fully washed and fermented for 22 hours. Feels creamy like a pulped natural.
Nearest town: Nanegalito
Altitude: 1750 meters above sea level.
Roast level: Light filter.
Aromatics: Sweet and fruity| Body: Creamy | Acidity: Sweet Citrus|
Aromatically this coffee is like a great washed Ethiopian coffee. This shouldn’t really be a surprise when you consider the varietal. Even when hot, the acidity is sweet, soft, and muted. The body is creamy and the liquor just gets sweeter and sweeter, with notes of lime, black tea, brown sugar, and maple syrup.
Standard 60-65g per litre.
Because we have roasted this coffee, primarily as a filter it is extractable as espresso also works in milk.
Espresso Brew recipe:
Standard 1:2, s0 17-34g is my easy go-to recipe for milk-based drinks. 26-35 secs is good. If you, like me prefer a little more water through your shots, then another 10g of water, i.e. 17-45 or even 50g of liquid makes for a super sweet and complex shot. We tend to run our machines, so they deliver 93C.
Hopeful outcome: Butterscotch, creamy coffee deliciousness in milk (up to 9oz quite happily), as the cup sizes reduce, the more fruit opens up. In espresso, this is intense, complex, juicy sweetness.
Having grown up in Ecuador, Francisco has had a calling to coffee, although he grew up in suburbia. Francisco’s extended family comes from the mountains in Caldas, Colombia, part of Colombia’s famous coffee triangle. There his grandfather used to produce coffee on a tiny farm doing his best with the few resources he had. Fate seemed to be aligning as around the same time Ecuadorian coffee was coming into fashion and the old family farm turned out to be located perfectly for coffee production. The weight of this knowledge left no choice in Francisco’s mind as to what he must do next, to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and to start producing coffee.