Finca El Meridiano
For many of us, one takeaway from 2020 was the renewed appreciation of our relationships which we have long cherished but perhaps not always slowed down enough to really examine and admire. This New Year we’re reminded of, and grateful for, the amazing places and people at the heart of what we do, even when we cannot visit. Thus it seems fitting that our first release of 2021 comes from one of Caravan’s longest running partnerships, Finca Meridiano and its owner, Mario Hervas.
Mario’s farm, which he bought as a passion project nearly a decade ago, is located in the region of Nanegal close to the capital, Quito. The farm is blessed by an array of of natural water sources and a beautiful landscape with a view over the surrounding valleys. Ecuador’s annual coffee production is miniscule compared to the other coffee growing countries in South America, yet it remains one of the crowning jewels on the continent, due in part to enterprising and innovative farmers like Mario.
El Meridiano grows a rare coffee varietal, called colloquially ‘Typica Mejorado’, a hybrid of the more famous Bourbon and Geisha varietals. Typica Mejorado is not grown widely outside of Ecuador. While it produces a stunning cup profile, it is a comparatively low yielding tree, meaning farmers must be confident in their ability to coax out the best qualities of the plant, knowing that the resulting volume will be still be less than its cousins. Thankfully for us, farmers like Mario understand how to do just that, relying on their extensive knowledge of plant science (Mario is a trained agronomist) and processing techniques to bring out the incredible fruit and floral notes this special tree can produce. This, combined with many other areas of expertise, such as his emphasis on farm worker training and wellbeing, means the resulting cup is dependably delicious year on year.
We love the elegance of Mario’s coffee brewed as a pour over. For two cups to share (or, as we like to do, one giant mug for ourselves) start with a recipe of 30-32g of fresh ground coffee to 500ml of filtered, hot water just off boil. Bloom for 30 seconds, followed by a slow steady pour to a total brew time of 2:30 – 3:00 minutes.