Las Tolas Coffee

Posted by Karl Purdy on May 18, 2016

Estate: Las Tolas Owner: Arnaud Causse Region: Pichincha Variety: Caturra & Pacas Grown on the slopes of the Andes at a 1,700m altitude, in one of the planet’s seven biodiversity hotspots, the Las Tolas Estate is run by Arnaud Causse who has managed it since 2004. Arnaud, now living in Ecuador for a decade, has worked on many coffee projects in Central and South America. Arnaud, eschewing conventions, has planted coffee plants outside traditional growing zones. He was drawn to purchasing his farm on the outskirts of Tulipe de Pichincha because of increased levels of light the area enjoys when compared to the majority of Northern Ecuador, due to greater breaks in cloud cover. In these conditions, under the shade of wild service trees, banana trees and mango trees, the cherries ripen slowly in an optimal environment to enhance the aromatic potential after roasting.
Arnaud Causse - Las Tolas Estate Owner
Arnaud Causse - Las Tolas Estate Owner
Arnaud grew up in France in the mountains outside of Provence. After declining mandatory military service, he was sent off to work on a Robusta plantation in Gabon, where he was first introduced to coffee production. Eventually, his service came to completion; however his interest in coffee did not. Arnaud spent many years working on coffee projects throughout Ethiopia and Rwanda before finding himself in the Dominican Republic. From there he moved to El Salvador, then to Costa Rica, and eventually took up residency in Ecuador.
Las Tolas Hillsides in Ecuador
Las Tolas Hillsides in Ecuador

The Coffee

The coffee in Las Tolas is grown on deep soil, enriched over generations of volcanic activity, giving the numerous varieties grown here their intensity in flavour and aroma after the roasting process. On the estate the different varieties are to be found in numerous plots:
  • One 6‐hectare plot consisting of Pacamara and Bourbon.
  • One 4‐hectare plot planted exclusively with Bourbon.
  • One 12‐hectare plot consisting of a blend of coffee varietals such as Caturra, Catuai, Galapagos, Kenya, Java.
Coffee Beans Growing at Las Tolas
Coffee Beans Growing at Las Tolas
Every year, at harvest time, the locals living near the plantation carefully select and collect the best cherries which are then placed in water baths to extract the coffee beans. After this first stage, the parchments are submerged in water for fermentation, after which they are dried naturally under the sun, allowing the beans to preserve their aromatic quality, developing notes of lemon, ganache and praline.
Picking and Naturally Drying Coffee Beans
Picking and Naturally Drying Coffee Beans

Tasting Notes

Coffeeangel have acquired the combination of two botanical varieties, Caturra (for its fruitiness) and Pacas (for its well‐rounded sweetness), providing a harmonious balance with intense aromas of exotic fruits, chocolate, citrus fruits and a generous and refined finish. This is a flavourful coffee with a rich and velvety texture. Ideally, Las Tolas should be brewed with a filter to accentuate all the flavours it has to offer. After brewing it will give a strong aroma of vanilla with a hazelnut flavour but, as it begins to cool you should notice the exotic fruits coming to the forefront. Acidity: Citrus, medium Body: Full, round Aroma: Vanilla Flavour: Hazelnuts, mango and papaya You can try Las Tolas for yourself here.