Have you ever paused to think about all of the amazing origin countries that the equator passes through? The most obvious, Ecuador, might not be the first to come to mind. Ecuador is one of the more elusive origins, likely the result of a high cost of production, which makes it more difficult to compete in a global market. A producer’s survival here depends on an ability to make a premium to cover the higher costs of labor. This is the strategy taken by Verena Stagg and Mario Hervas, who cultivates coffee along with limon, orange, banana, and guava trees on their 15 acre farm called Finca Meridiano. Verena and Mario focus on quality, starting with a crew of 10 people who meticulously hand pick the entire harvest. The ripe cherries are depulped, fermented, washed and gently dried on raised beds at the farm. The finished parchment is stored until it is time to mill and export.