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The coffee story
This coffee is grown in the mountainous Palanda canton in the Southeast of the Zamora-Chinchipe province. Its topography is created by the eastern Amazonian mountain range, which houses great biodiversity. 20% of the territory sits within the Podocarpus national park, characterised by valleys and steep slopes forming mountains and hills. In higher altitudes, it’s possible to find plateaus with glacial lakes. These are the source of important river basins - hence receiving the name of Southern Ecuador’s “water heart”.
On top of rich biodiversity - including 70 species of trees, 63 species of orchids, and 606 species of animals - Palanda has a long history dating from 5,000 years ago. The canton is where the most ancient vestiges of Eastern Andean tribes were found.
This forest-covered region ranges from 500 m to 3,800 m above sea level. The climate is humid, with 1158 mm of rain all year round, though mainly from December to June. Temperatures range from 12℃ to 27,8℃, averaging 20℃. The arable soil has good drainage and is acidic.
Farmers who are part of APECAP (Asociación Agroartesanal de Productores Ecológicos de Café de Altura del Cantón Palanda) grow coffee in agroforestry systems, mainly under the shade of banana trees. Typica and Bourbon are the most cultivated varietals followed by Caturra, Pacas and San Salvador. The harvest lasts 8 months, from March to October, peaking in July and August. Most of the crop is considered high-quality selective picking coffee.
In general, the sensory profile of APECAP’s coffees is as follows:
- Fragrance: Panela, floral, chocolate, malta, honey, lemongrass.
- Sweetness: Medium with caramelly and fruity notes.
- Acidity: Medium, mandarin-like.
- Balance: Well balanced.
- Body: Creamy.
- Aftertaste: Sweet and lingering.
This coffee is being offered by FAPECAFES (Federación Regional de Asociaciones de Pequeños Cafetaleros Ecológicos del Sur), a nonprofit organization created in 2002 to gain market access for smallholders' coffee. FAPECAFES is a member-owned institution formed by 6 grassroots associations in the provinces of El Oro, Loja and Zamora-Chinchipe. There are around 1200 members, 95% of whom are small producers. The Federación is both Fairtrade and organic certified.