overview

Overview

This is a traditional washed coffee from Pichincha, Ecuador, produced by a small network of farmers organized around Galo Morales’ Finca Cruz Loma.

The flavor profile is delicate and slightly tropical with fruit notes like cherimoya, tamarind and honeydew melon at the fore, with support from caramelized sugars and hints of floral complexity and buttery texture.

Our roasters found the coffee’s unusual green measurements to be no obstacle and noted the coffee performs well when pushed through early roasting stages with a little extra heat.

When brewed, the coffee’s initial impressions of simple elegance give way to nice complexity, and our baristas especially enjoyed it filtered on a ceramic flat bottom pour-over.

taste

Taste Analysis by Sandra Loofbourow

The only traditional washed coffee in the lineup this week, this lot is a perfect fit for those who love clean and crisp cups with plenty of sweetness. It’s named after the cherimoya fruit, a uniquely delicious white-fleshed, juicy fruit that has delicate acidity, tons of florals, and a uniquely buttery texture. It’s one of my favorite fruits, and although it could be the power of suggestion, I thought of this perfectly ripe tropical fruit each time I encountered this coffee. Other flavor notes include honeydew melon, tangerine, cranberry, and honeysuckle. Like some the other two coffees from this region we’re releasing this week, it occasionally dipped into intense candy-like sweetness, like a Hi-Chew, but this was always balanced by perfect caramelized sugars reminiscent of pecans, cinnamon-y pumpkin pie, and cocoa powder. Perfectly balanced and elegant, this is the ideal washed coffee for those who don’t mind a little extra deliciousness in their morning cup.

source

Source Analysis by Charlie Habegger & Sandra Loofbourow

Galo Morales and Maria Alexandra Rivera are making a name for themselves in the Ecuadorian coffee scene. In recent years Galo’s name has appeared in various regional and national cupping competitions in Ecuador, if not all-out winning then certainly placing in the top three, and setting multiple price records to boot. This year, Morales is the proud first-place champion of Ecuador’s national quality competition, the Taza Dorada. His winning lot sold for an astounding $100 per pound – another record for Ecuadorian coffee prices. It’s official: Finca Cruz Loma is setting the standard for coffees from this region.

Like so many of Ecuador’s best coffee producers, Galo is constantly pushing boundaries and striving for better results: constant experimentation between altitudes, soil types, and cutting-edge plant care techniques are part of what makes his farm successful. In addition, Galo’s experience in the value chain allowed him to found his own export company and create opportunities for other farms by representing their coffees to importers and directly to Royal Coffee. This lot comes from various producers organized around Finca Cruz Loma, who work with Galo and Maria Alexandra to improve their processing techniques and export capacity. They called this lot “Chirimoya”, after the unique white-fleshed fruit that grows in the Andes, which is as complex, delicate, and floral as this coffee.

Principal harvest months in Pichincha and Imbabura are June to September, but farms often continue picking through December. Ecuador’s namesake position on the Earth’s equator means that medium-altitude coffee enjoys practically a perfect year-round growing season, often with flowering and ripe cherry sharing the same branch most months. For small farms this means a small but long-term labor force to manage the slow, perfectionistic work required for such a drawn-out harvest. In addition to coffee it is common for farms in this area to grow any combination of potatoes, plantains, corn, sugar cane, cacao, soursop, chirimoya, and heart of palm.

As everywhere in the coffee world, harvest on small farms typically involves the whole available family as well as hired pickers. Coffee in Pichincha and Imbabura is processed at home on personal equipment and dried on hand-made structures and greenhouses. In Cruz Loma’s careful washed processing method, selectively harvested ripe cherries are washed clean, then depulped before fermenting in tanks for 20-26 hours, after which cherries are placed on raised beds under shaded canopies to dry.

Ecuador is a fascinating coffee origin, with tons of history and an exciting outlook for the future. The coffees are so delicious, complex, floral, and immaculately processed as to be almost irresistible. These producers are at the forefront of both innovation and impeccable execution, and the results are in the cup: irresistibly clean, juicy, and straight up delicious. Finca Cruz Loma is no exception.

green

Green Analysis by Chris Kornman

This is a clean green coffee with excellent flavor and slightly elevated moisture figures; I’d suggest resealing your bags if you plan to hold the green for longer than a month or two.

Otherwise, this coffee is relatively large in size at 16+ with a majority of beans falling between 17-18 sizes. Pair this with the coffees moderately high density and high moisture and you’ve got a recipe that might indicate heat resistance particularly early in roasting. Drive off that moisture early and don’t be shy about the burner settings and you should be able to set the stage for an easy predictable roast.

diedrich ir-5

Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Chris Kornman

This washed coffee from Ecuador was fun and easy to roast, offering predictable responses to heat and airflow adjustments and requiring very little in the way of micromanagement.

Thinking of this coffee in the way I would a high density honey coffee, or natural Ethiopia, for example, I opted to charge relatively hot and wait for a bit to hit the gas. I kept the airflow restricted through these first 60 seconds or so, retaining the ambient heat of the system. At the turnaround, I kicked the gas up to 70% for this half-size batch (5.5lbs in our 5kg capacity Diedrich) and opened the airflow halfway.

Despite the low gas setting to start, I was still able to pull out of drying phase in under 5 minutes. I held steady at this point, for a solid minute of roasting, and then I cut the legs out from under the roast, reducing my burner setting to idle, opening the airflow fully, and letting the radiant heat exchangers finish the roast with a gentle coast.

You can see the slight recovery in rate of rise at first crack. Keep an eye on this especially if you’re still riding a hot burner at this stage, you’ll likely need to be very careful to avoid a roast that runs away from you. I finished this roast with a little quicker pace than I have been defaulting to lately, though the ColorTrack numbers match up quite closely with recent analyses.

In the cup, the coffee tasted like ripe tropical fruits like mangos and papayas, with elegant hints of florality (I thought of chamomile tea) and an ever-so-slightly savory note that lent a complexity and nuance to the overarching sweetness and silky mouthfeel. I probably could’ve dropped the coffee a few seconds earlier to protect some of the floral notes, but I suppose there’s nothing wrong with a little brown sugar sweetness either.

aillio bullet r1

Aillio Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Evan Gilman

Unless otherwise noted, we use both the roast.world site and Artisan software to document our roasts on the Bullet. You can find our roast documentation below, by searching on roast.world, or by clicking on the Artisan links below.

Generally, we have good results starting our 500g roasts with 428F preheating, P6 power, F2 fan, and d6 drum speed. Take a look at our roast profiles below, as they are constantly changing!

Another roast of another fabulous coffee from Ecuador this week, alongside the CJ1475 and CJ1476. This coffee roasted fabulously, despite some higher-than-average moisture content and decent spread of screen size. This is also the densest of the three Ecuadorian coffees. The cup was just as easy to handle, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results I got here.

Starting with a slightly lower charge temperature of 419F and the lowest airflow setting (F1), I wanted to hit this coffee with plenty of heat. Trying something fairly new, this roast started with D4 drum speed, ramping up to D6 drum speed about two minutes after Turning Point. I used P9 power to push this coffee hard in the beginning, only engaging F4 fan at peak RoR and using P8 power at yellowing to reduce delta. The idea was to wick away as much moisture as possible early in the roast so that I would be able to cruise into First Crack nice and slow.

Anticipating a small peak in RoR leading into First Crack due to the release of moisture, I reduced heat to P7 and increased fan speed to my current maximum, F5 at about 370F / 7:00. There was still a bit of peakiness afterwards, but I was still able to achieve a generally downward-trending RoR with a further adjustment down to P6 power. In the end, this coffee spent 1:48 (17%) in post-crack development and was dropped at an end temperature of 403F.

This coffee was, to my estimation, the gentlest of the three Ecuador coffees this week. With juicy lemon-lime acidity, sweet green apple malic acid, and hibiscus tartness, this coffee had a very pleasant and complex acid profile. As it cooled, sweetness like canned pears in syrup or brown sugar burst through the thick mouthfeel. There was a touch of savory black sesame on the finish in this coffee that I enjoyed thoroughly (confidential: black sesame is one of my favorite flavors).

This coffee was super unassuming at first, but really increased in complexity as I continued to sip. I would recommend it for simply any preparation, but I feel like a brew with more suspended solids would bring out the heavy sweetness to play with the clear and complex acidity. Honestly, anything will do – as long as you drink it quick. Yum!

ikawa pro v3

Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Chris Kornman

Standard practice these days for Ikawa roasting is to put our Crown Jewels through a gamut of 4 reliable profiles at what we’d consider to be “drinkable” sample roast levels. The profiles have been developed and refined over time to showcase the best of various green metrics and processing styles to give us a window into their performance on our production roasters.

Premiering alongside this fresh Ecuadorian coffee this week is a brand-new Inlet profile for our Ikawa Pro. We’ve been evaluating metrics like fan speed and color and have refined a roast that we believe gives us a very reasonable facsimile of a standard, light sample roast.

This coffee performed predictably on our standard hot & fast exhaust profile, offering up a clean cup with a bright acidity with flavors of lemon and plum, and a little bit of a thin, hollow structure. The Maillard +30 iteration of the same aided caramelized flavors a bit and added some complexity in the form of notes like tamarind, mango, and hints of floral, nutty, and savory characteristics.

The new inlet profile is a good deal lighter in color despite a similar total roast time. It features some extreme airflow peaks and valleys and tries to mimic a smooth ascent into first crack with a slow gentle rate of rise for roughly 60 seconds of development time, depending on the bean. For this coffee, the roast yielded a very light sample roast with some initial hints of breadiness. However, that whisper of underdevelopment seemed to fade as the cups cooled, and we picked up some strong reminders of nectarine and honeydew melon alongside a distinctive marzipan-like sweetness.

Interestingly, for this coffee, the end temperatures across all roast profiles were a little lower than the other coffees we released this week from Pichincha, suggesting that this coffee could probably use a little additional heat and/or development time in the roaster.

You can roast your own by linking to our profiles in the Ikawa Pro app here:

Roast 1: Crown Standard SR 1.0

Roast 2: Crown Maillard +30 SR 1.0
Roast 3: Crown Inlet Sample Roast 2022

brew

Brew Analysis by MJ Smith

Let me just start by saying that this is a really exciting washed process coffee!! With three new Ecuadorian coffees from Galo Morales coming in, the other two being Natural Process and Anaerobic Washed Process, my interest was initially on the other two, but once I tried this Pichincha Washed Process my mind was instantly changed.

We first tried it out on the F70 brewer by Saint Anthony Industries, and for me, it was love at first sip. Initially, I picked up notes reminiscent of a tasty cup of hot cocoa with a twist of orange zest on the end, but the longer I sipped on it, I started to notice some really delicate notes of sweet honeysuckle and watermelon rind. I would honestly be happy sipping on this coffee all summer long.

For the sake of science (and we love science!) we brewed up another pour-over on the Bee House brewer. Both brews tested high for the TDS and extraction percentage, but even so, they were surprisingly sweet and clean. On the Bee House, we collectively picked up some warmer, cozy tasting notes, such as brown sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and chocolate covered raisins. While it was a really delicious cup of coffee, Colin and I both agreed that we liked it a little more on the F70 brewer. While we only tried this coffee as a pour-over, it would also make a really fun, versatile espresso or an amazing cold brew or iced coffee to pair well with the warmer summer months!

Origin Information

Grower
Various producers organized by Finca Cruz Loma
Variety
Caturra, Typica
Region
Imbabura and Pichincha Provinces, Ecuador
Harvest
June - September
Altitude
1500 - 1800 masl
Soil
Clay minerals
Process
Fully washed and dried in the sun on raised beds
Certifications

Background Details

Royal’s relationship with Galo Flores and his wife Maria Alexandra Rivera, of Finca Cruz Loma, is still very young relative to the greater pantheon of Royal’s supplier community. However Galo and Maria Alexandra, in addition to personally producing some of the top coffees we buy all year from South America, also expose us to smaller producers in their region with excellent coffee to sell. This coffee is a blend of various small family farms from the Pichincha and Imbabura provinces, 150 hectares in totalsourced and curated by Galo and Maria Alexandra“Chirimoya” is the title for the small-farm blend, in honor of the native and uniquely delicious fruit widely grown and consumed across the Andes.   Principal harvest months in Pichincha and Imbabura are June to September, but farms often continue picking through December. Ecuador’s namesake position on the Earth’s equator means that medium-altitude coffee enjoys practically a perfect year-round growing season, often with flowering and ripe cherry sharing the same branch most months. For small farms this means a small but long-term labor force to manage the slow, perfectionistic work required for such a drawn-out harvest. In addition to coffee it is common for farms in this area to grow any combination of potatoes, plantains, corn, sugar cane, cacao, soursop and chirimoya, and heart of palm.  As everywhere in the coffee world, harvest on small farms typically involves the whole available family as well as hired pickersCoffee in Pichincha and Imbabura is processed at home on personal equipment and dried on hand-made structures and greenhouses. Cherry is depulped immediately after picking and fermented in sealed tanks (known as “anaerobic” fermentation) for 1-2 days. After fermentation, the parchment is thoroughly washed and moved to raised beds under shade canopy for a slow and even drying stage.   Galo and Maria Alexandra, the managers and curators of this small-farm blend, manage their own Finca Cruz Loma, 350-hectare plot in the community of San José de Minas, a small town in the northwestern part of Pichincha, a short trip north of Quito. The estate has been in Galo’s family going back 80 years. Galo’s experience in coffee began 20 years ago working alongside his mother on the farm; he would go on to work professionally in the coffee sector, for exporters and as a project manager, before returning to full-time farming. In Galo’s words, “cultivating my coffee is an activity that allows me to apply and develop the skills and habits I’ve learned over the years; it’s also an essential resource for my family, since my wife, my daughters, and myself are all involved with the production and marketing of our coffee. Everybody in the family has a critical role in the coffee’s success.” Galo’s experience in the value chain has positioned his family well to help create opportunities for other farms by representing their coffees to exporters and directly to Royal Coffee.