About the coffee
Terrazas del Pisque Bourbon
Arnaud Causse grows coffee with zero pesticides, and very natural treatments for soil enrichment. For now, due to the arid climate in the region and very high altitude, reaching over 2100 masl at some parts of the farm, only 15 hectares of the 40 are planted with coffee. There are mainly traditional varietals like Caturra, but also some plots of varietals such as Java and Pacamara. It’s an example of the former that we have purchased this year with the help of our partners at Belco, a round and sweet washed Bourbon. We’re finding a deep sweetness and a juicy acidity, with some interesting floral aromas.
Orange Blossom, Caramel and Lemon
Arnaud Causse, a Frenchman and ex-Agricultural Engineer, has two farms in the Pinchincha region of Ecuador. His first, Las Tolas, was planted in the middle of a natural forest. This sounds like an ideal and biodiverse environment for coffee production, but as Arnaud’s coffee trees are an ‘intruder’ in an already balanced ecosystem, other plant species are easily able to out-compete coffee for nutrients, light or space. While the coffees from Las Tolas are delicious, this leads to a constant battle to keep the trees alive, and was something Arnaud wanted to avoid on his next farm, Terrazas del Pisque. Named for the nearby Pisque river, the farm is a distillation of Arnaud’s years of experience as an Agricultural Engineer; a balanced micro-ecosystem built from scratch with coffee at its centre. Several species of native trees were planted, such as Papaya, Avocado and Eucalyptus, in order to provide shade for the coffee, and add to the synergistic system. There are also bee-hives across the plantation, in order to help with pollination, the fruit trees attract birds to fight off fruit flies, and there are also patches of legumes in order to fix nitrogen into the soils.
The washed process involves completely removing both the cherry and the mucilage from the outside of the parchment with the use of friction, fermentation and water. After being harvested, the coffee cherry is then sliced open by either a metal or a sharp plastic blade. The two seeds (also known as beans) are pushed out of the cherry, which leaves the seed with mucilage as their outermost layer. It is essential in the washed process that all mucilage is removed from the seed which leaves only the flavor that developed in the cell structure of the seed prior to processing.
About La Cabra
A focus on raw material
If we don’t feel that a coffee suits our style or what we like to present, we simply won’t buy it. Sometimes this leads to issues in green buying; we have to pay very close attention, to a level of green quality that will support this approach, and to how this will develop over the life of a coffee. We are required to focus heavily on the freshness of coffee, both green and roasted, to avoid introducing taints into our cups. We always use clean and fresh water, of an ideal mineral content to present the coffee in its best possible light. Once we have the correct roasting profile, water, and coffee age, the act of brewing is much more simple. A wide variance in brewing parameters can still produce delicious and transparent cups. It is also important to note that this is not always the most consistent approach. The coffee is laid completely bare, so any flaw with the raw material is clearly on show. We could often develop some coffees slightly more, to make them more approachable or easy to work with, but wavering from our philosophy like this would compromise our commitment to complete transparency in coffee.Read more