Ecuador may be one of the smallest countries in South America, but that doesn’t make it any less adept at growing some of the world’s best coffee. The country has a wide range of natural formations and climates—from the desert-like southern coast and snow capped peaks of the Andes Mountains, all the way to the plains of the Amazon River Basin. Its location on the equator, after which the country is named, makes it an excellent place for growing coffee and one of the most environmentally diverse countries in the world.

Coffee’s Role in Ecuador

Ecuador has been growing coffee since 1860 and reached peak production in the 1980’s, where as many as 1.8 million bags of combined Robusta and Arabica were grown. Nowadays, coffee production has dropped significantly to 700,000 60 KG bags, with the majority being Robusta. In terms of world coffee production, Ecuador now accounts for less than 1%. Most Ecuadorian coffee is grown on small farms, from one to ten hectares, and about half a million people still depend on coffee for their livelihood in Ecuador.

Regions & Cup profile

In Ecuador, coffee production mostly occurs in the coastal provinces, as well as in the Amazon and the Sierra Mountain area. To say high quality Ecuadorian Arabica coffee is rare is an understatement—Ecuador’s coffees are juicy and complex, with a lot of jam notes, sweetness, medium acidity, and yellow fruit flavors.

Harvest Period

November – March

Annual productivity

640,000 – 680,000 bags

Genetic Varieties

Bourbon, Typica, Cattura and Sidra

Growing Regions

Carchi, El Oro, Loja, Galapagos, Manabi, Pinchincha and Zamora-Chinchipe