For Caravela Ecuador, 2020 had a promising start, full of changes and growth. From the very beginning, we were prepared.
With the aim of developing our relationships with southern producers – in a region known for producing very consistent coffee, which perfectly suits many of our blends’ profiles – we moved our main buying station to the city of Catamayo, a logistics hub in the province of Loja. This brought us closer to even more producers and helped us ensure that all the coffee we purchased was moved promptly to our dry mill in Quito.
Additionally, we made a few tweaks to our team structure, and we are now thrilled to count on a very committed group of people who have been exploring new regions – for us at least, since they have been growing coffee for quite some time- including Puyango and Las Lajas. We have also continued to expand our prod ucer network: this year alone, we initiated relationships with over 100 coffee producers from all corners of the country. They are all really excited about PECA, our coffee educational program, and we look forward to working with them to keep improving coffee quality.
We were also pleased to once again welcome the new year by exporting the best lots from the Galapagos Islands, where we continue our in-depth work with producers, guaranteeing quality and improving production yields year over year. The results are definitely rewarding! This year’s La Tortuga was a sensation with roasters from around Europe and the US, all of them keen to taste more from the archipelago’s upcoming harvest.
Then, as for pretty much everyone else in the world, the pandemic arrived, bringing a series of challenges. We entered quarantine and lockdown in Quito right in the middle of harvest season for the northern region. Fortunately, it didn’t affect the harvest process much. Most of the producers we work with rely on their family and neighbors for picking, and usually all post-harvest processes take place on the farm, so they were able to keep working despite their isolation from the cities.
Undoubtedly, transportation and mobility restrictions were among the biggest difficulties we faced during that period. Beautiful lots were being processed at the farms, but we lacked the means to assess them, so we had to settle for keeping in touch with producers by phone. As soon as things got a little calmer, we began collecting and analyzing samples, so we could provide prompt feedback to producers before harvest season ended.
So far, it has been a year full of changes; some we were looking forward to, others not so much. Thanks to the prowess, endless efforts, and resilience of coffee producers, and to our amazing team, we have managed to continue working. Now, we are pleased to announce that Ecuador’s finest lots are ready to be enjoyed all around the globe. Whether you are a regular or new to the Ecuadorian coffee experience, make sure you check our Spot offerings, where you will find a wide range of flavors; from the delicate, floral and citrus profile of our northern Alambi, to more complex, fruity and full-bodied profiles from the south, as found in our Rancho Carmen or Altos de Marfil.
Despite all the challenges these uncommon times have brought, we are definitely looking forward to exploring, tasting and discovering more of what Ecuadorian coffee producers have to offer, and we feel -more than ever- a huge commitment to them, as well as to delivering specialty coffee while always meeting the highest quality standards.
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