Crown Jewel Ecuador Pichincha Galo Morales Washed Mejorado – 33657-1 – SPOT RCWHSE

Price $304.47 per box

Box Weight 22 lbs

Position Spot

Boxes 8

Warehouses Oakland

Flavor Profile Orange, Meyer lemon, vanilla, lime, and cane sugar

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Overview

This is a traditionally washed coffee from Pichincha, Ecuador, produced by Galo Morales Flores on his farm, Finca Cruz Loma.

The flavor profile is elegant and sweet and slightly subtle, but a charmer, with strong presence of orange flavor, hints of citrus blossom and the sweetness of vanilla and sugarcane.

Our roasters overall trended lighter than usual, with an emphasis on floral and sweetness complexity developed during slightly extended Maillard reaction stages.

When brewed, our team recommends a moderate grind, slightly lower dose, and flatbed brewer like the Kalita Wave.

Taste Analysis by Chris Kornman

It’s not possible to talk about this coffee’s taste without a small discussion of the cultivar – “Typica” Mejorado – one of two ultra-famous and delicious varieties developed in Ecuador (the other is Sidra). Their origin story is obscure, one which, much like the seeds, has been passed down person-to-person such that true provenance and verifiable breeding practices may never be fully revealed. Rumor has it they are Nestle orphans, abandoned seedlings from a dissolved project in Pichincha. Perfect Daily Grind speculates that Mejorado is related to Typica in name only, designated solely because of its similarity in taste.

Ok ok, wait, but what does Typica taste like? Typica (classic) is an umbrella cultivar, a huge family of trees spanning the globe and tracing its origins to the first seeds stolen from Yemen and brought to India, and then Indonesia, by the end of the 17th century. That’s more than three hundred years of global cultivation in nearly every major Arabica producing nation. It could be argued that Typica simply tastes like coffee.

This Mejorado, however, tastes like a dream. Like an orange dream. Like a dream about oranges that starts wandering through a field of mandarin orange trees in flower, followed by a juicy, pulp-dripping bite of the fruit, followed by a dessert-like spiral of orange creamsicle (which in my childhood was a frozen treat but apparently is now a cocktail).

Galo Morales’ process here employs a fairly straightforward traditional washing method, which subtly betrays the possible Ethiopian origins of the tree. It’s floral, in the delicate and slightly herbal way a citrus blossom can be, or maybe it’s herbal in the delicate and slightly floral way that coriander, white tea, and sweet basil can be.

It’s our only Ecuadorian Crown Jewel this year, and while it comes from a familiar name (including third place both 2022 and 2023 Cup of Excellence competitions) it bears a refreshing subtlety we’ve not associated with some of the more bombastic anaerobic offerings of years past.

This coffee is elegant and sweet and slightly subtle, but a charmer and nothing if not enjoyable to the very last drop. Sounds like a catchy slogan for a coffee company. Is it taken?

Source Analysis by Mayra Orellana-Powell & Charlie Habegger 

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, 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 citrus—all 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 family, as 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 years. His 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.” 

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.

Green Analysis by Isabella Vitaliano

Galo Morales, a tried-and-true name within the coffee industry and one that has frequented the Crown Jewel menu. Not one to disappoint, Morales and his team have hit all the ideal specs one needs to ensure long lasting quality. Density remains slightly above average with a classic European Prep style in the 15-18 screen size range. The water activity and moisture content are all within ideal ranges, also reflective of what we can expect from previous lots by Morales. With these metrics, roasters can expect long-shelf life and predictable roasting.

Diedrich IR5 Analysis by Doris Garrido 

I believe this is not a merely Typica variety, but an improved one, as its name implied “Mejorada.” Although I have no idea of the intricacies of the cultivar neither of the craft of the producer, but the flavors suggest to me that it’s more than just a conventional Typica nor conventional wash—that’s my impression, at least. As someone who seeks out floral notes, this coffee has offered a clue of its potential on its elegant aroma, pushing me to look deeper for more. Thus far, I have done a couple of roasts, experimenting with airflow. My initial roast, which involved moderate to high air and slightly hard gas inputs during the drying phase, followed by a gentle approach to the Maillard reaction, has been the most complex. 

The process began with a charge temperature of 450°F, utilizing full gas at 100% and airflow at 50%. After the turning point, I increased the airflow to 100% and adjusted the gas in two stages: first to 70% at 2 minutes and 21 seconds, then to 30% precisely just at the color change point. This allowed the yellowing phase to complete in 3 minutes, leading to the first crack at 379°F. 

In my second roast, I accelerated this phase, which I wouldn’t recommend, as it seemed to diminish the complexity of the fruitiness. For my next attempt, I plan to extend this phase slightly, since I am curious about what other flavors might be extracted. 

I pictured the development phase as the moment to shape the Maillard reaction, where I shape the body and sweetness by conducting the heat. At this moment, I aimed to maintain the juiciness, allowing 1 minute and 35 seconds for development, and dropping the coffee at 392°F. This temperature is somewhat lower than what I used to have on my last year’s roast. 

The amount of tasting notes collected on the cupping table from this roast is extensive, so I just copied as they appear on cropster to provide an idea of this roast taste profile: Mandarin orange, almond birthday cake, brown sugar, cane sugar, citrus blossom, coconut, floral, fresh orange, fudge, green grape, intensely juicy, lemongrass, Meyer lemon, nectarine, orange soda, plum, pomegranate, sesame, sweet basil, vanilla icing, yellow plum. It is good right? I cannot imagine what else I will find! 

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!

I always know I’m in for a treat when I hear Galo Morales’ name. Ecuador coffees aren’t so common, so having one in house is already a heads-up that things are about to get spicy (and sweet, and tasty). But the gentleman’s reputation precedes him, and the excitement builds.

This coffee is ideal in all the green aspects, so you shouldn’t expect any extreme resistance to heat, or need to be too careful about heat application at the end of roast. It was an absolute peach to roast, even at very light roast levels, which is what I went for here.

Starting with a medium-high charge temperature of 464F, I hit this coffee with P9 power and F2 fan from the outset. The peak rate of change of 39F/min was a little delayed on this roast, but the gentle decline all the way to drop was ideal. At what I thought was peak, I engaged F3 fan, but the rate of change rose gradually until I applied F4 fan at Yellowing. Not standard for me, but bear with me, folks!

I kept this up until just before first crack, where I toggled between F5 and F4 to bring down my rate of change and float through First Crack light as a feather. I achieved spending most of this roast in Maillard, and the cup was absolutely phenomenal even at a drop temperature of 393F, which is very light for me.

Honeylike sweetness, delicate florals, plum and brown sugar all played gracefully together. The lasting finish here had a touch of cinnamon, and the acidity was like a crisp lime soda. This is one to savor for sure, but it’s hard to put down the cup. I kept coming back to take more notes… a thinker’s coffee, and definitely one that I’ll keep in my memory files for some time to come. Delicious!

You can follow along with my roast here at roast.world: https://roast.world/egilman/roasts/guWA992kqdJ2pLIz0ZGQG

 

Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Chris Kornman 

Our current Ikawa practice compares two sample roast profiles, originally designed for different densities of green coffee. The two roasts differ slightly in total length, charge temperature, and time spent between color change in first crack. You can learn more about the profiles here. 

I hopped onto the Ikawa this week and took this coffee for a literal spin in the hot air. After a few days resting, I cupped the results, and was pretty surprised at the remarkably different and nearly equally enjoyable roasts. 

The high density profile produced a complex cup, with strong notes of mandarin orange and a strawberry jam fragrance. I noted a little yuzu zest, some sweet basil-like botanicals, and a slightly savory finish. We’ve noticed in a few of our other hot and fast style profiles that this coffee finishes similarly – I suspect some folks will enjoy this characteristic complexity, but others may find it distracting. 

Fortunately, it’s not hard to avoid that note with a small adjustment. A gentler approach to charge temperatures and a little extra time in Maillard, or development, or both, should result in a sweet, lush coffee with plenty of complexity. 

In the case of the Ikawa, the low density style showcased flavors of fresh coriander, fresh ginger, plum, salted caramel, sweet lime, and dark chocolate. I’d be hard pressed to chose a favorite, as I very much enjoyed both. I suspect you’ll find this coffee presents few challenges during roasting sessions, and will likely be delicious just about regardless of how it’s browned. 

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

Roast 1: Low Density Sample Roast 

Roast 2: High Density Sample Roast   

Brew Analysis by Joshua Wismans

In typica Galo Morales fashion, it doesn’t get much mejorado than this.

This fully washed coffee captures the essence of Galo’s work. Clean, juicy, bright, immaculately prepared, and a revelation on the palate. While we have fewer of his coffees on the menu this year, we’re super excited to be able to brew up this unique coffee.

For our first brew, we went with a fairly moderate approach on the Kalita Wave – not too coarse or fine and a 15.79 coffee to water ratio. This coffee turns out to be quite soluble, and gave us pretty high TDS of 1.48. While higher than we usually go for, the acidity remained clear, complimented by a deep sweetness. Notes of orange, amaretto and clove. Honestly, right out of the gate we were impressed by this coffee, but wanted to try a few other approaches as well.

On our second brew, I tried to temper the TDS by coarsening the grind. While still enjoyable, with the brew showcasing by white tea and a more zesty citrus profile, I found myself missing some of the depth of the first brew.

Our favorite brew ended up being a return to the initial moderate grind setting, but lowering the coffee dose. The depth of the sweetness returned, giving us more caramel and currant, but preserved some more of those delicate floral and tea flavors we enjoyed in the second brew.

For this coffee, we recommend a moderate grind, slightly lower dose, and flatbed brewer like the Kalita Wave.

Also, my sincere apologies to all those deeply allergic to puns.

Espresso Analysis by Asha Wells

Well well well, what do we have here? A classic washed Ecuador with all the crisp aromatics and juicy tropicality to definitively ring in this summer season? A fortunate stroke of serendipity and quite a treat! This coffee has been a joy to work with and explore, while typically I am drawn to natural-process coffee, this washed Ecuador had something for me and any coffee-drinker. I was quite taken with its brilliant freshness like green apple and honeydew, all the while carrying the juicy-fruity-brightness of tangerines and blackcurrant.

Our first recipe, with a dose of 16.8g, and a yield of 38g, which took 29 seconds. This shot was very enjoyable, with a juicier, bright and floral profile, evoking notes of pomelo, vanilla bean, passionfruit, and magnolia.

For the second recipe I’ll recommend a coarser grind and smaller yield of 36g, but keeping with our initial dose of 16.8g, and pulling at 20 seconds. This profile had a lovely aromatic freshness that I would liken to snow pea or cucumber, with a depth and body of olive oil. The shot was rounded out with a tender acid-sweetness, like lemonade, the very essence of summer! Altogether, a fragrant and crisp delicacy, well-balanced and clean.

While there’s many ways to approach dialing espresso, I found every shot that really wowed me was on the lesser end, dose-wise. Rather than fighting this, I chose to lean in and found two distinct profiles, both starting with a dose of 16.8. There were points of intrigue and favorable shots in other ranges, and this coffee could certainly perform beautifully, a spectrum of profiles, happy dialing!