overview

Overview

This is an experimental anaerobically fermented and washed coffee from Pichincha, Ecuador, produced by Galo Morales on his farm Finca Cruz Loma.

The flavor profile is clean, tropical, and balanced with complex notes of mango and blackberry, a candy-like sweetness, and a lemongrassy finish.

Our roasters found the coffee to take heat quickly and to perform best when progress through Maillard is paced moderately and the end temperature is low.

When brewed our baristas noted its excellence and flexibility on many filter drip options and speculated it would make a great iced coffee and espresso.

taste

Taste Analysis by Author’s Name

Are you looking for juicy tropical notes balanced by a cup so clean as to be described as immaculate? This is the coffee for you. Finca Cruz Loma is known for its award-winning coffee, and this anaerobic washed lot is no exception. The list of fruits we found in this coffee is extensive: berries, mango, Meyer lemon, clean strawberry, blood orange, and fruit punch. The sweetness is honeyed and vibrant, the mouthfeel irrefutably clean, the finish leaves a hint of lemongrass on the tongue. This coffee is exceptional, and I plan on drinking as much of it as I can while supplies last.

source

Source Analysis by Charlie Habegger & Sandra Loofbourow

Finca Cruz Loma, run by Galo Morales and Maria Alexandra Rivera, is the latest arrival in a series of superlative Ecuadorian coffees in Royal’s warehouse. 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 top 3, 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.

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 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 and unique processing method, cherries are washed clean before fermenting in anaerobically sealed tanks for 24-48 hours. The coffee is then depulped and set to ferment in anaerobic tanks once again. After this multi-day process, the coffee is washed and set to dry on raised beds under shaded canopies.

Finca Cruz Loma is a 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.” Like so many of Ecuador’s best coffee producers, he 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.

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 green coffee comes to us with a really nice preparation. Sometimes anaerobically fermented coffees can exhibit discoloration of the green or give off vinegar-like aromas, but in this case the coffee smells sweet and fresh like a slightly underripe white peach, and the coffee is free of any irregularities in appearance.

Its moisture figures are squarely average looking, as is the density, and the green has been screened to mostly 15-18, a classic European Prep style. You should expect this coffee to last a good while on your shelf, and to behave fairly predictably in the roaster based on its excellent grading.

diedrich ir-5

Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Doris Garrido

After roasting some Ecuadorian coffee, I was more than exited to try this anaerobic coffee from the Pichincha area, produced by Galo Morales.

The green numbers I got, and the sample roasts I have done previously here gave me some clues of how to start my roast.

Our batch size for Diedrich analysis is 5.5lbs. Based on that batch size, I decided to charge at 425 F with 70% gas. I wanted to give it a good push in order to achieve a nice turning point, and from there a Maillard with a great florals and a juicy acidity. I reached turning point at 1:29 minutes and 189 F, which I was happy with, but I should have used 100% gas. I’ll try that next time. I’m pretty sure this coffee can take the heat it well.

Now, talking about air: we have been doing some experiments with the Diedrich air flow. They are not completely done but I wanted to try using a little bit of what we’ve learned so far. After 38 sec of charging my coffee I added 50% airflow. Basically, I was looking to help out the drying phase and make the turning point phase not so hard on the coffee. I left the airflow on for a little less than 2 min before turning it off, mainly because I have noticed that after turning point the airflow tends to reduce the power. I left it off for 1 minute and add airflow back at 50% again.

Before color change I was at the peak of rate of rise that I look for (40 degrees every 60 sec). It was time to slow down and reduce the gas to 45%. At 4:38, color change started happening at 306 F. I wanted a short roast with a nice acidity, but this is an anaerobic coffee, so I needed to keep lowering my rate of rise gently. I started with closing the air again for a little bit (usually, I do the opposite at this point in the roast, but it needed to slow down a little more) then drop the gas to the lowest point, 30%. I barely got 19F/60s RoR and the coffee started cracking at 378 F. I opened the air flow 100% and was able to get a nice 1:25 of post-crack development, dropping the coffee at 396 F which seemed like a fabulous end temperature to me. ColorTrack reading placed this anaerobic coffee at 62.75 whole bean, and 52.75 ground, so from that perspective the roast was great.

The best part was about to come the next day when we cupped. The best tasting note on the table: “Unmatched elegance for an anaerobic” from Chris Kornman, usually a harsh judger of anaerobic coffees!

But if I want to communicate efficiently as he did in his book Green Coffee: A Guide for Roasters and Buyers, this coffee developed: a vibrant and clean body, bright tart acidity, and honey sweetness. In our tasting notes we included: jasmine, clean strawberries and sweet grapes – specifically, fresh Moscato grapes around 23 brix just before they get harvested.

Ecuadorian producers from north to south keep bringing great coffees, this anaerobic will make a perfect and delicate pour over, and for roasting I will say keep an eye during Maillard mainly because the roast tends to rise to first crack quickly.

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!

An immaculate coffee from Ecuador. I have been trying progressively more aggressive roast styles on the Bullet, and I feel like this coffee rewarded my heavy-handedness with unexpected elegance.

While I did use a slightly lower charge temperature than usual, 419F, I really pushed this coffee with P9 power and F1 fan. The initial push worked well, and I did keep this coffee at high delta (30F/min) through drying, only introducing fan to F3 at 3:30 / 308F to slow the roast.

Trying something that Doris had mentioned, I started with D4 drum speed, and moved to my usual D6 at yellowing. I also reduced heat to P7 at yellowing, then to F5 and P5 a smidge later as I anticipated delta/RoR peaking a bit before first crack. I knew that bringing fan speed up to F5 would generally crash the roast, but I wanted to keep going on the same vector (gently reducing delta while keeping airflow high for a super clean roast), so I re-upped the power to P6 as first crack began.

The result was just what I was looking for, and I finished the roast with 18% post-crack development and an end temperature of 395F – much lower than usual for me. In the cup, this coffee just floored me. I haven’t had a ton of coffees from Ecuador, this year certainly being the most I have ever had in a row. But this coffee had me chuckling at how delicious it was.

Florals, apricot, tea-soaked prune, and fresh raspberry were my initial notes. Then, more distinct assam black tea, and cascara tea flavors lingered well after sipping. Chrysanthemum, and even more purple fruit came out of the cup as it cooled. Mangosteen?! Definitely not a note I was expecting, but there’s a seriously elegant tropical flavor to this coffee, and I just can’t get enough.

This coffee is going to excel as a single-origin drip offering, but it would honestly taste amazing anywhere you choose. With any luck, I won’t be too caffeinated to have a third cup. And a fourth. See you in outer space, fellow traveler!

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 elegant anaerobically fermented washed 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. For this coffee we stacked it up against our older, reliable Maillard extension exhaust profile. The older profile produced a clean cup with lots of interesting coconut flavors and really amazing sweetness.

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. The result here is a coffee with a lot of clarity, some well-preserved acidity, and some really interesting floral flavors that got washed out a little in the more aggressive heat profile from the exhaust program. We picked up coriander, day lily, star fruit, passion fruit, and yellow peach.

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

Roast 1: Crown Maillard +30 SR 1.0
Roast 2: Crown Inlet Sample Roast 2022

brew

Brew Analysis by Colin Cahill

There have been hushed whispers around the Crown for weeks anticipating the arrival of Galo’s coffees. We were super excited when they arrived in the Tasting Room and we brewed them up immediately. While we generally focus on exploring and scrutinizing the qualities of each coffee individually, I love receiving multiple coffees from the same producers, enabling some interesting comparisons. We brewed this coffee up alongside the two other offerings from Galo and his family, and they make an exceptionally delicious and dynamic set! This anaerobic washed coffee is sweet and bright and complex in the best ways, and it performed beautifully across brewers. Each brew featured sweet tropical notes, and I want to share about some of the qualities we detected in our brews from a December Dripper and from a Hario V60.

Josh, our new Tasting Room Manager, chose to start with the December Dripper, a flat-bottom brewer with a variable aperture, allowing the brewer to change the number of openings in the bottom. The variable aperture feature allows us to increase or decrease the speed of the water as it drains through the device. Josh ground 19 grams of beans at an 8.5 on an EK43, and started off with a 50 gram pulse of water, allowing it to bloom for 50 seconds. Two additional pulses of water brought the total to 300 grams, and the brew finished draining in 3:40. This brew had a TDS of 1.45, and an extraction percentage of 20.84. We tasted some wild flavors in this brew, including fruitier notes of mango, jackfruit, Meyer lemon, and fruit punch. The brew had a molasses-y sweetness, a bold note of lemongrass, and a body reminiscent of a slightly malic hibiscus tisane. Each sip brought a different note of sweet tropical fruits!

We shifted to a cone brewer, opting to brew the anaerobic washed coffee on a Hario V60. We worked with the same dose of 19 grams of coffee, grinding it on our EK43 at a slightly coarser setting of 9. We started with a pulse of 50 grams of water, allowing it to bloom for 45 seconds, and followed with two more pulses of water, finished with 300 grams of water total. The brew finished draining in 3:25, and had a TDS of 1.39, with an extraction percentage of 19.96. This brew was clean, sweet, and juicy—another brew we could just sip on all day long; MJ described it as the perfect coffee to sip under the canopy of a blooming cherry blossom tree on a spring day. We tasted notes of ripe mango, berries, blood orange, and Pixy Sticks—a delightful combination of a bright tartness and intense sweetness. This coffee performed beautifully in cone, flatbed, and hybrid brewers, making it an excellent choice for a filter coffee offering. It could also make for a playful and tropical espresso option, or even a bright, punchy iced coffee!

Origin Information

Grower
Galo Fernando Morales Flores, Finca Cruz Loma
Variety
Typica, Sidra
Region
San José de Minas, Pichincha Province, Ecuador
Harvest
June - September
Altitude
1450 masl
Soil
Volcanic loam
Process
Anaerobic fermentation, Fully washed and dried on raised screens
Certifications

Background Details

Galo Fernando Morales Flores, along with his wife Maria Alexandra Rivera and his extended family, grow coffee on their 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. They describe their farm 8 hectare, Finca Cruz Loma, as a marvelous paradise whose temperate, tropical climate allows for a huge variety of flora to thrive—the family grows guanábana (soursop), corn, beans, and a plethora of citrusall in addition to coffee.   Coffee, though always a source of income, has recently brought a lot of recognition for Galo, Maria Alexandra, and the whole familyas winners of Pichincha’s regional quality competition and as featured producers in Ecuador’s national barista competition, both in 2019. In 2020, Cruz Loma took third place in the national “Taza Dorada” quality competition. Across residents and tourists alike Ecuador has a strong domestic market for roasted coffee, so honors such as these have no small impact on a farm’s brand.   Finca Cruz Loma has been in Galo’s family going back 80 yearsHis grandparents were the first owners, who passed the property to their children, and now he and his four brothers are in charge. 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.  Together the family oversees four unique processes for their coffee: fully washed; “anaerobic” washed, honey, and natural. This specific Anaerobic lot received a combination of anaerobic fermentations, first in whole cherry between 24-48 hours, and then again after depulping where the parchment was sealed in an air-free tank for an additional 12 hours. Fermentations complete, the parchment was washed in fresh water and laid out to dry. The effect of these specific fermentations cannot be overlooked—the coffee is exquisitely delicate, elegant, and floral, with persistent tropical fruit flavors and layered with invigorating botanicals like rose petal, pine, and cardamom.  The principal harvest months in northern Pichincha are June to September, but the family continues 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