Ecuador Hakuna MatataRegular price $21.00
Lime Lollies / Chocolate / Mango
Region La Perla, Nanegal, Pichincha
Farm La Hakuna Matata
Elevation 1350 masl
Finca Hakuna Matata is owned and operated by Henry Gaibor and his wife, Verena, who also oversee the daily operations of Rancho Tio Emilio, as well as their own mill and farm at Finca Maputo.
The couple has a very interesting, somewhat dramatic backstory: They met in Bujumbura, Burundi, in 1996 when they were both volunteering for Doctors Without Borders: Henry is a veteran war-trauma surgeon from Ecuador, and Verena is a war nurse from Switzerland, and they met in the field during a humanitarian crisis in Burundi. In 1998, the two of them returned to Henry's home country of Ecuador, where they managed a clinic in Quito for 13 years before deciding to devote their time, energy, and resources to another passion—coffee. Henry is extremely methodical and just as dedicated to his coffee production as he used to be about his medical profession, and Verena's management skills clearly show her training and efficiency as a nurse under extreme pressure.
Together, they are doing everything right when it comes to picking, processing, and drying coffees, and Cafe Imports senior green-coffee buyer Piero Cristiani says the Gaibors are producing "some of the best coffees I have ever tasted." The Gaibors grow several different varieties, which are clearly divided and marked on their properties: They grow Typica, Bourbon, SL-28, Sidra, Kaffa, and Caturra.
Henry and Verena produce their coffee in La Perla, Nanegal, which is in the province of Pichincha, relatively close to the border of Colombia. The area where the farms are located has a very specific microclimate: Even though it's relatively low altitude for Ecuador around 1350 meters, humidity is high and a visitor often sees mist covering the coffee fields in the afternoons. It becomes much cooler at night, as well, and the unique combination of characteristics give their coffees a very special quality.