For three years now, Gonzalo Castillo's coffee has placed in the top 10 at the Bracamoros competition in Southern Ecuador. We are thrilled to again partner with him and highlight this year's lot, which is juicy and delicate and highlighted by a sweet citrus acidity. Gonzalo conducts a meticulous selection of cherries of his coffee, selecting only the reddest, ripest cherries for depulping. Coffee is picked most mornings and depulped by 5 PM. The coffee undergoes dry fermentation for 14 hours and is washed the following morning. After washing, the coffee is soaked for 10 more hours in water, then set in African beds in a hoop house to dry for up to 8 days. At 14% moisture, the coffee is turned in to APECAP to finish drying on a concrete drying patio. Gonzalo has consistently placed in the top 10 of the Bracamoros competitions in the last 3 years, placing first place in 2015 and 2016. The son and grandson of coffee farmers from Palanda, Gonzalo is married and the father of six children. He is a founding member of APECAP where he has been selling his organic coffee since 2002. In addition to coffee, he grows corn and yuca for his family’s consumption. Through APECAP he has conducted soil analysis of his farm and adapted his compost to increase potassium and nitrogen levels through banana stalks and cherry pulp. He has very good production levels despite the presence of Roya in the area since he renovated his entire production two years ago with new plants.
Higher Grounds is proud to offer exceptional coffees from around the world by building lasting partnerships with small-scale growers, working directly with them to ensure a top-quality product. Through those close relationships and ongoing community projects both in our local area and globally, we provide coffee drinkers with an excellent product and the opportunity to engage in a cycle that begins at, and returns to, our partners in coffee-growing regions.