Coffee in Ecuador is grown at low and high altitudes(grown over 4,000 feet above sea level (1200m) is considered “high altitude” Coffee). Coffee is grown along the slopes of the great Andes and in pockets along the coast, Amazon Basin, even on the Galapagos Islands. Coffee grown at a range of altitudes affects the bean’s flavor in different ways. Small coffee plantations are increasingly turning up in Ecuador. It is not uncommon to see names like Loja, Manabi(Jipijapa, Junín), Zaruma, and Intag appear on bags of beans at your local coffee shop.
What's So Important About High-Altitude Coffee?
Coffee production in Ecuador is one of only 15 countries that grow and export both Arabica and Robusta coffee, the two main coffee species produced and consumed globally. Different ecosystems in Ecuador permit different coffee cultures to occur all over the country, including in the Galápagos Islands.
Historically, the Jipijapa Zone in the province of Manabí has been one of the most prominent places in which Coffee has been cultivated in Ecuador. In 1860, coffee grains were introduced there. When Ecuador opened up to foreign trade and commerce, significant changes occurred throughout the country. New small plantations reached a certain degree of development, allowing coffee export for its economic growth. This phenomenon occurred almost on par with cocoa production.
Ecuador’s total annual coffee production is today (2020) estimated at 950,000 bags of 90 kilograms (the international standard used for measuring coffee production worldwide). Between 60 and 70 percent is Arabica and Robusta makes up the balance.