Ecuador is a country not well known for its coffee but for its cousin tree: cocoa. And yet, this first AVPA roasted coffee contest organized in Quito has reserved us some good surprises.
A diversity of terroirs less marked than in Colombia, a country of micro-climate, however if I had to describe the Ecuadorian cup as I discovered it, I would say that it has a nice roundness, fruity and spicy notes, a fine acidity, a moderate body and a persistent and sweet length in mouth. A very accessible cup in short, something to please everyone.
In total, about forty samples were tasted. It is not easy to master all the steps from harvest to roasting and I must say that overall, the quality was there.
At my side a group of three Ecuadorian judges: a young taster trained in Colombia, a Q Grader trainer and an agricultural engineer, specialist of coffee and cocoa. The group was quickly calibrated close to perfection.
A few “nuggets” emerged from the lot! Coffees that are difficult to classify, offering a rather unexpected aromatic palette. We can feel the work around fermentation, a trend in recent years in specialty coffee, which here was mastered from start to finish.
18 medals were awarded, we can say that this first edition was a real success and certainly the beginning of a perennial partnership with Ecuador.
This competition could not have taken place without the energy and dynamism of Guillermo Ortiz, himself a coffee producer, Finca La Victoria (AVPA Gold Medal in 2020) who piloted the entire operation.
After two days of competition, we were able to go and meet some Ecuadorian producers. First in the province of Napo, at the gateway to the Ecuadorian Amazon, then in the lush forests of the province of Pichincha, northwest of Quito. Rich exchanges, delicious cups of arabica tasted, very promising cups of Robusta and a remarkable enthusiasm.
All this is a definitely good omen for this origin that we will certainly hear more about in the years to come.
I wish good luck to the winning coffees that will be tasted at the AVPA international competition in Paris next November.