A Quest for Great Ecuadorian Coffee

So I finally got a French press, and it’s time to move on from instant coffee. As some of you may know Ecuador produces a good amount of coffee, not as much our neighbor to the north but nevertheless a good quantity of Robusta and Arabica beans.

The goal of this thread is to review all kinds of Ecuadorian coffee whether Robusta or Arabica and whether supermarket stocked or gourmet. All opinions, input and reviews of Ecuadorian coffee are welcome.

The first coffee I got my hands on after getting the French press was Minerva’s Clásico. It was the most popular brand at my local supermarket as it occupied most of the shelf space in the ground coffee section.

It’s made from 100% Robusta beans, and on a scale of 6 to 10, it’s listed as a 9 in roast strength. It's marketed as a, “high performance coffee with intense flavor that transports you to the cool forest of Ecuador.”

Hey that got me.

Since it’s the first Ecuadorian ground coffee I bought, I won’t judge it yet because I’m still tinkering with brewing and will review it after I finish the 200 gram bag I bought for $1.50. And possibly after trying a second brand as I'll have something to compare it to.

I tried to give the previous coffee more time but it just wasn’t doing it for me. The roast and flavor of the beans were just a bit too strong to enjoy as an everyday coffee. So, let me introduce Galletti coffee, and the difference is night and day.

First, Galletti is produced from Arabica beans while Minerva is Robusta. The package is also strikingly different, Galletti uses fancy plastic and aluminum with a zip lock container to keep the coffee fresh after opening while the Minerva is your ordinary ground coffee package. Think of an Apple iphone and an ordinary Android, and like Apple, under the fancy package Galletti is magnificent.

The aroma from the coffee before and after brewing is pleasant, and the flavor is what I expected from home brewed. Galletti has several varieties and of various roast strength.

Amazonas, Catedral, Mujeres, Bosque Nublado, Montaña, Galletti de la casa, Espresso, and Vainilla y Amareto. These various coffees are grown in different parts of Ecuador by coffee farmers who are part of the Galletti network.

I purchased Galletti Montaña or mountain coffee which is grown in Loja. It’s marketed as “Suave Y Elegante”, and it sure is with a roast strength of 3/5. The cost is $7 for 340 grams, and prorated that’s about $21 per kilogram and about $9 a pound.

If you’re in Quito, you can try out their coffee in one of their three cafes. I like it and unlike the last one, I will finish this one.

In cuenca,  weekly I usually buy 200 grams of ground Loja coffee for $2.75 from a local shop called café nucallacta.  I prefer "oscuro" and  like a true connoisseur, I don't bastardize it with milk or sugar. However, I do like an occasional latte or cappucino when living large.

I use a Bodum French press to prepare my coffee, although I would like to get one of these:

Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker … Gyb121HA9E

Nards Barley :

.  I prefer "oscuro" and  like a true connoisseur, I don't bastardize it with milk or sugar.


Nards Barley :

I do like an occasional latte or cappucino when living large.

I love Cappuccinos as well, but I'll never order from a cafe if it's too busy because I think they don't bother heating the milk adequately despite my polite insistence and the drink comes out lukewarm.

As for latte, I've been enjoying one almost every weekday of late along with brunch at a local ecuatoriano restaurant, and that's what it is basically, a cup of milk and a teaspoon of instant coffee. Can't beat it for $0.50, it was $0.75, but for whatever reason I'm only charged $0.50, maybe because it's correct price or maybe a little discount for loyal customers.

I tried the Galletti coffee mountain roast or 3/5 roast quality and it was delicious. But I need something stronger, and I’m not sure which brand to choose, maybe I’ll stick with Galletti and go for a stronger roast 5/5.

As a normal coffee I love Sweet & Coffee Americano, it’s not as bitter as Juan Valdez. Decisions, decisions…

While walking to mercado Iñaquito this morning I stopped by Galletti (it’s on the corner of Amazonas leading directly to the mercado), and ordered an Americano. It’s $2.25 for an 8 oz cup, and while more expensive than Juan Valdez @ $2.30 for a 16 oz, and Sweet and home @ $1.75 for a 12 oz, the flavor and taste is noticeably better.

So I'm going to re-up the Montaña (roast they use for Americano), but I'm also looking for a brew that is a bit stronger to give me that kick when I want it.

Cafe Vsimple in the making.

My latest coffee is Sweet & Coffee (Ecuadorian), medium roast, which costs $6 for 340 grams. I like this coffee because Sweet & Coffee is one of my favorite cafes, so enjoying a cuppa at home is nice. You can buy the ground coffee at their cafes or at the supermarket, which I did, and don't mind because the production date was only three weeks old.

Brewing Method: Regular coffee machine with 1 tablespoon to 1 cup ratio.

What I'm enjoying nowadays, especially with my new coffeemaker which I imported and serves perfectly hot coffee is Juan Valdez premium selection balanceado (medium) coffee, which I highly recommend. 250 grams at Juan Valdez costs $8.99. A bit pricey compared to other brands but the taste is well worth it. You can opt for the bigger bag which is 500 grams and better value.

For those who don't know, Juan Valdez is Colombian but is very popular, at least in Quito. They sell their brand of ground coffee at supermarkets and cafes. There are six cafes in my neighborhood and all within walking distance of one another. Yeah, more so than any other brand, and the reason is obvious - a cup of very good coffee.

They also have empanadas from Colombia, Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina which complement the coffee for breakfast or snack.

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