Finca Maputo is a farm and mill owned and operated by Henry Gaibor and his wife, Verena, who also oversee the daily operations of Rancho Tio Emilio, as well as Finca Hakuna Matata.
The couple has a very interesting, somewhat dramatic backstory: They met in Bujumbura, Burundi, in 1996 when they were both volunteering for Doctors Without Borders: Henry is a veteran war-trauma surgeon from Ecuador, and Verena is a war nurse from Switzerland, and they met in the field during a humanitarian crisis in Burundi. In 1998, the two of them returned to Henry's home country of Ecuador, where they managed a clinic in Quito for 13 years before deciding to devote their time, energy, and resources to another passion—coffee. Henry is extremely methodical and just as dedicated to his coffee production as he used to be about his medical profession, and Verena's management skills clearly show her training and efficiency as a nurse under extreme pressure.
Together, they are doing everything right when it comes to picking, processing, and drying coffees, and Cafe Imports senior green-coffee buyer Piero Cristiani says the Gaibors are producing "some of the best coffees I have ever tasted." The Gaibors grow several different varieties, which are clearly divided and marked on their properties: They grow Typica, Bourbon, SL-28, Sidra, Kaffa, and Caturra.
Henry and Verena produce their coffee in La Perla, Nanegal, which is in the province of Pichincha, relatively close to the border of Colombia. The area where the farms are located has a very specific microclimate: Even though it's relatively low altitude for Ecuador around 1350 meters, humidity is high and a visitor often sees mist covering the coffee fields in the afternoons. It becomes much cooler at night, as well, and the unique combination of characteristics give their coffees a very special quality.
Nerdy Coffee Stuff -
While this coffee isn’t grown at a crazy high altitude - only 1350m - the unique conditions at the farm still lead to a large diurnal temperature swing (the difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures). These large temperature swings lead to denser coffee seeds, as well as higher levels of sugars and acids. This means that this coffee has flavours that we usually only find in coffees grown higher up, with tonnes of fruity acidity and big sweetness.
This coffee is also 100% typica, a variety of coffee that we have found seems to do exceedingly well in Ecuador. We find this variety to present sweet tropical fruit flavours and florals, and this coffee is certainly no exception. Simply looking at this coffee, it is immediately apparent how well processed and sorted it is. There are very, very few defects, and the coffee seeds are all roughly the same size and shape. This is truly a testament to the attention to detail that Henry and Verena apply to their farming, and we’re sure that it has a large impact of cup quality.
This coffee was sourced by Cafe Imports, and they only had one bag available when we purchased it. It was so good that we couldn’t pass it up, but beware, it’s not going to last very long. We paid $6.98 / lb, and cupped it at 88.5.
- The commodity price of coffee was $0.92 per pound at the time of purchase.
Brewing Information -
Filter Coffee - V60
20.5 g in - 320g out - 4:00 minute brew time.
This coffee is actually really difficult to make taste bad. When it’s not extracted properly, you’ll miss some of the magic, but it still makes a deliciously sweet and drinkable cup. To get this extraction right, though, expect a longer than normal brew time. We’ve been doing a fairly simple V60 recipe, wth 20.5 g of coffee, and 320g of water. We do a 60g bloom for 30 seconds, and then one pour all the way up to 320g. Don’t grind coarser if the brew is taking too long, we’ve found that this coffee is just a slow-drainer.
When this coffee is over-extracted, you’ll still found a lot of sweetness and brown sugar flavours, but you’ll be missing a lot of the delicious fruit. It doesn’t get very bitter unless you really over extract it, so it can be a little tricky to detect. When it’s under extracted, you get a bunch of citrus and not really a lot of the sweet tropical notes. When you get this just right though, you’ll get sweet and effervescent cherry-limeade, tropical fruits like guava and mango, and juicy peach. There’s also this really unique flavour/mouthfeel that’s super refreshing, and almost reminded me of peppermint.