Melida Yolanda Abad
FINCA EL ALMENDRO STORY
Up in the mountains of Palanda, in the south of Ecuador, there is a coffee farm aptly named El Almendro, due to a distinguishable almond tree that has always been there on the farm. There, Melida Alverca lives with her husband, Melecio Mayo, and their children. They have been in coffee for a while, mostly through the side of Melecio’s family as his father was a coffee producer. Over time, Melida got involved, wanting to know more about coffee harvesting and processing. Since around 2012, she got involved in the coffee production at the farm, and it is truly a family venture where each one fulfills an important role. Melida is more involved and has taken charge of pulping, washing, fermenting, and drying the coffee. As of 2023, they have been exploring new varieties to plant, such as Bourbon Sidra, as they’ve heard good things about their quality. Melida and Melecio also have plans to make some improvements to the wet mill to achieve more consistency in the quality of their coffee.
Melida and Melecio are very methodical with the way they process their coffee, which starts with a good selection of the adequate ripe cherries. These are then floated to take out any defective cherries and foreign materials such as leaves and branches. The cherries are then pulped without water and undergo a second floating to clean the coffee. Following this, the coffee beans are fermented anaerobically with water for 8 hours and then from 30 to 48 hours anaerobically without water. Afterwards, the coffee is taken to the covered raised beds where it takes approximately 19 days, depending on the climate, to reach its point.
As a parting message, Melida wants to tell you, “I’m happy knowing you like our coffee. On behalf of my family and me, we want to thank you and invite you to come to the farm, to get to know the care we put into each detail to achieve this coffee, and of course, share a cup of coffee with us.