The past few years have included, along with the launch of our Crown Jewel program, our first real sustained sourcing effort in Ecuador. Both of these projects reflect Royal’s stance as buyers, or curators, as much as we are traders. All of us here who contribute to the spot position are capable of arguing for choices we believe in. This is what makes working at Royal so rewarding—think of yourself, an avid cupper and passionate promotor of your coffee selections, and imagine 15 of you in the office all day tasting and deliberating like a senate of experienced negotiators on behalf of your producer, or roaster, constituents. Many of us here are asked, by customers and producers alike, what makes Royal different than other importers. My answer is that we think and work like buyers do, possessively, regardless of whether a trade is in place or not. Curation, persuasion, and even argumentation are a part of buying coffee.  

So, to be argumentative, Ecuador continues to be the least-demanded coffee origin in South America.

As we build the containers of the current crop, and this goes for any origin, we often re-cup existing inventory for a few reasons: to recalibrate for the new buying season, to see what’s changing, what’s hanging on, what’s better than it was when it first arrived (this happens), and without a doubt, to note what is fading and needs to be dealt with accordingly. We recently did this for our spot Ecuador position and I must say the level of foolishness here, in which you all have not already bought all of these coffees, is really quite overwhelming.   

Charlie Habeggar cupping rare Ecuador coffee at The Crown: Royal Coffee Lab & Tasting Room

Of 13 lots, 8 of them are 86-89 in the cup. 5 of them are either 100% typica mejorado or a blend of mejorado and sidra—both exclusively Ecuadorian arabicas that represent some of the scarcest and most delicate genetics in the Americas. The position includes organic certified coffee, affordable coffee, naturals fermented in oak barrels (very successfully, wow), honeys and anaerobics. Sizes range from just 20 25kg plastic lined boxes to 155 69kg GrainPro bags. A few of them are in our Farmgate category, meaning they are transparently priced to the original farm, and we’ve published that price along with the rest of the information we have.  

I know from having worked for roasters and retailers for 10 years that in the period from October to February there are many cracks to fill in a coffee menu. There are blends to refresh and holiday micro-lots or espressos to plan. The Rwandas and Burundis don’t land as early as we dream, nor do the best Perus. There’s also the growing desire for having added something new this year to the roastery that reinvigorates the arguments at the cupping table. In a good way, of course.  

To get the wheels turning I’m going to organize our available Ecuadors below by what I think is the best application for them. The first group downright melted our faces, and there is huge utility all the way down. Enough foolishness people! 

Special occasion micro-lots: 

Great single origin offerings or even swaps for Central America, Papua New Guinea, Uganda, and Peru washed profiles:  

Best picks for single-origin espresso, or blend components: 


Want to talk Ecuador coffee with our team? Email us at