Ecuador – Maputo – Finca Maputo – Honey – Cup of Excellence #23 – 8oz.
|Farm||Rancho Tio Emilio|
Sweet and heavy with winey fruit acidity, very berry with strawberry, caramel, cacao and some rose flavor.
Finca Maputo is a farm and mill owned by Henry Gaibor.. Henry and his brother José's late father was named Emilio Gaibor, and this farm is named in his honor. José is an infant heart surgeon, so he lives in town during the week, while Henry and his wife, Verena, oversee the daily operations of Rancho Tio Emilio, as well as their own land at Maputo and Hakuna Matata.
The couple has a very interesting, somewhat dramatic backstory, also having to do with medicine: They met in Bujumbura, Burundi, in 1996 when they were both volunteering for Doctors Without Borders: Henry is a veteran war-trauma surgeon from Ecuador, and Verena is a war nurse from Switzerland, and they met in the field during a humanitarian crisis in Burundi. In 1998, the two of them returned to Henry's home country of Ecuador, where they managed a clinic in Quito for 13 years before deciding to devote their time, energy, and resources to another passion—coffee. Henry is extremely methodical and just as dedicated to his coffee production as he used to be about his medical profession, and Verena's management skills clearly show her training and efficiency as a nurse under extreme pressure.
Together, they are doing everything right when it comes to picking, processing, and drying coffees, green-coffee buyer Piero Cristiani says the Gaibors are producing "some of the best coffees I have ever tasted," which explains why they are our longest relationship in Ecuador: We've been buying from them since 2014. The Gaibors grow several different varieties, which are clearly divided and marked on their properties: They grow Typica, Bourbon, SL-28, Sidra, Kaffa, and Caturra.
Henry and Verena produce their coffee in La Perla, Nanegal, which is in the province of Pichincha, relatively close to the border of Colombia. The area where the farms are located has a very specific microclimate: Even though it's relatively low altitude for Ecuador around 1350 meters, humidity is high and a visitor often sees mist covering the coffee fields in the afternoons. It becomes much cooler at night, as well, and the unique combination of characteristics gives their coffees a very special quality.
An extremely selective harvest is made of only the ripest cherries and they are promptly floated to remove defects and placed in a container to ferment in-cherry for a period of 24 hours. After this, the coffee is depulped and placed on raised beds with all of the mucilage still on the parchment to be dried as a Honey. For the first day, the coffee is spread out in a thin layer and set to rest for 24 hours. After this, the coffee is moved every 45 minutes for the next 2 days. From the 3rd day on, the coffee is moved every 2 hours until a moisture content of 16% is achieved across the lot. From this point, this coffee was placed in a mechanical dryer to finish at 38 degrees celsius until an average of 11% moisture content is achieved. Once fully-dried, the coffee is set to cool and rest for 1 day and promptly placed inside GrainPro bags, then inside burlap bags for storage in a cool, dark room until it is ready for milling and exportation.