Mario Hervas - Twin Pack
Having travelled the world together and shared adventures in the name of sourcing exceptional coffee; both teams visited Mario Hervas’ farm El Meridiano in 2017, and a shared love of his coffee and the bond that was forged with Mario has led to the sharing of this year’s harvest between the two companies. This twin release is a symbol of the inclusivity of the coffee industry, that each roastery has its own unique way of expressing the potential in a coffee, and that we can share and celebrate the differences in our work. And in the process, recognize the coffee buyers and the bonds that are forged in travels at coffee origins, a story that so often is unrecognized.
Mario’s farm El Meridiano is incredibly beautiful, full of natural water sources, waterfalls, and a beautiful landscape view of valleys of Pichincha; and it this location that he’s used to pioneer specialty coff¬ee in the municipality of Nanegal. Alan Tomlins from Small Batch and Sam Langdon from Caravan travelled together El Meridiano in October 2017, as part of a wider sourcing trip with Caravela. Alan and Sam have frequently partnered together to share in the often-grueling logistics of travelling through coffee producing countries – if you’re sharing a jeep with someone for 14 hours of driving in twisting and treacherous mountain roads, it helps if you enjoy the company of your travelling partner!
It was at El Meridiano that both buyers struck up a bond with Mario and have continued to buy from his farm ever since. This year’s harvest was shared equally with the two companies and it was Alan and Sam’s longstanding friendship that has led to this release: Mario’s coffee roasted two ways, sharing the green coffee and through that the stories; our different approaches towards a coffee’s expression and roasting styles. In a spirit of open collaboration, defying industry convention which so often can be combative and secretive to a fault.
Mario himself was an early adopter of the techniques used to achieve specialty grade coffees in his country, helping to drive forward the reputation of Ecuador as an upcoming powerhouse for excellent quality coffee. Mario was an agronomist for 17 years, working with large-scale rose farms throughout Ecuador, and bought El Meridiano as a passion-project. Applying his knowledge to the business of growing coffee, Mario has been on the cutting edge from the moment he hit the ground – and as a result his coffee is impeccably grown, clean and well processed. Safe to say, he is a farmer who we are extremely proud to have been working with for the past three years.
The variety grown by Mario has an interesting origin in and of itself – originally developed for higher yields and disease resistance in a commercial plantation run by Nestle, the seeds were smuggled out by the workers on the plantation to grow in their own farms. Initially misidentified as Typica due to the physical characteristics of the plant, genetic testing conducted on a sample sent to the World Coffee Research labs identified the Geisha/Bourbon heritage of his trees. Geisha is world famous for its bright, complex acidity and incredible complex floral aromatics, and bourbon for its buttery body and deep sweetness.
To best brew our roast of this coffee, we use a Kalita wave 185. Using 30g of coffee ground coarse, we bloom with 100g of 94c water. Stir the bloom to ensure even wetting before pouring 400g of water in slow lazy circles, topping up as it drains to finish pouring at 2:30. Spin the brewer gently at the end of pouring to loosen any coffee stuck in the niches of the filter paper and to level the bed for an even extraction.