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Ecuador Coffee Production – Best Beans Online & Brewing Guides

Table of contents


$ 0.96 - $2.58 per ounce

  • How to serve: Usually served as a Lungo, which is something between an Espresso and an Americano
  • flavor: Higher acidity with a balanced body and hints of honey, some natural sweetness, and even an aftertaste of cocoa
Varieties Arabica (Lavado, Natural), Robusta, Bourbon, Sidra, Caturra, Typica
How to Serve Usually served as a Lungo, which is something between an Espresso and an Americano.
Flavor Higher acidity with a balanced body and hints of honey, some natural sweetness, and even an aftertaste of cocoa
Recommended Machine Stovetop, Espresso, Moka Pot, Siphon, AeroPress
Good As Americano, Espresso, Lungo, Cafe con Leche
Price Range $0.96 – $2.58 per ounce
Caffeine Level 1.34%

Ecuador sits right on the equator line, thus the name Ecuador. It is also dotted with dormant volcanoes, enriching the soil around them with very important minerals and nutrients. The altitude of Ecuador’s landscape can reach up to 16,000 feet above sea level with a humid and tropical climate.

If you know anything about growing coffee you’d have guessed by now that this country has the ideal conditions for it. And you’d be right. Ecuador coffee production is quite the business in the country, but not to a very extensive degree. Currently, Ecuador is in the 20th place in terms of yearly volume, but they make up for it with the taste and quality of their beans.

The history of coffee plantations in Ecuador goes back a little over one and a half centuries. And somewhere around the beginning of the 20th century, the local government started to pay much closer attention to this gold-mine industry. The quality of the beans was improved (Robusta was replaced with Arabica) and Ecuador slowly started to gain a foothold in the world of coffee. Currently, the country grows the following varieties of coffee:

Arabica Robusta Bourbon
Sidra Caturra Typica

The most valuable are the grains harvested in the regions of Manabi, Loja, El Oro, Chinchipe, Los Rios, Sucumbios and other areas. The main plantations are located at an altitude of 6500-9100 feet above sea level.

The main characteristic of all Ecuadorian coffees is the nutty taste combined with pleasant floral aromas, sometimes with a fruity aftertaste.

In this guide, we will take a closer look at the best regions where this coffee is produced, the top products available online, and a few tips on how to brew them and with what.

History of Coffee Production in Ecuador

Ecuador started cultivating coffee in 1860 in the Jipijapa region, mainly in the province of Manabi. However, plantations started to appear much faster when the government placed an emphasis on grain fields to boost both domestic uses, as well as exports.

There were minor bumps on the road, such as the 1903 recession in the country, but after the recovery in 1905, Ecuadorian coffee beans started to sail on their merry way to dozens of nations worldwide.

The country survived yet another crisis in the 1980s after going through a streak of good luck for over a decade since 1970. In the 80s, many countries had already adopted coffee as their primary export in Central and South America, which is why a sudden increase in supply dropped the price of Arabica coffee significantly.

It took Ecuador quite a long time to recover from this crisis as farmers started to abandon their plantations en masse, not even bothering to harvest what had already grown (the labor costs outweighed the revenue). The crisis hit the hardest between 1997 and 2002 when production volumes of Ecuador coffee beans had fallen 4-5 times compared to 1970. But, thankfully the industry has been slowly recovering since 2012, reaching around 200,000 hectares of farmland and 39,000 tonnes of the annual harvest.

Now the so-called “third wave” of the development of the coffee industry is taking place in the country. Ecuador does not aim to be the biggest producer (the chances are still zero), but focuses on quality and trying new methods of production and roasting.

Top Coffee-growing Regions in Ecuador

Ecuadorian coffee grows not only in the highlands of the Andes but also on the coast, in the lowlands, and even in the Galapagos Islands. About half of the coffee trees are planted among other plants: cocoa, citrus fruits, bananas, mangoes so that the coffee fruit absorbs fruity aromas, which then appear in the finished brew.

The regions where coffee is usually cultivated in Ecuador are:

However, we will focus only on the 4 most important ones down below.

Manabi – The Highest Quantity

It is a coastal region with not that much elevation (2800 feet), which is why farmers mostly grow Robusta beans. Alongside Guayas and El Oro regions, it produces more than half of the supply of coffee in Ecuador. This coffee received the same name as the place of its growth. It has a bright, rich taste with an expressive sourness, cognac notes, and a fruity base.

Manabi is The “homeland” of Ecuadorian coffee but has some dark history to it as well. In order to clear a place for coffee plantations, sections of the forest were cut down, then the remaining stumps and vegetation were burned out. Restorations are still underway today as farmers try to re-grow the vegetation to cultivate their coffee cherries under some natural shade from the trees.

Pichincha – Higher Elevation

This region is in the north and produces mainly Arabica with other regions such as Imbabura and Carchi. It consists mainly of highlands in the Andes, which slope down to a small low-lying edge in the west. The provincial capital of Quito, also the national capital, has made it the center of Ecuadorian history and politics.

It should be noted that because of the higher elevation (16,000 feet) the coffee beans that are grown in this region carry a specific taste that is cultivated in a special way. The slower ripening process helps caramelize the flavors within the beans on a whole different level, making coffee beans from Pichincha one of the best from Ecuador.

Loja – The Best Ecuador Coffee Beans Are Produced Here!

Loja is located in the southern part of the country. Coffee in this province has a well-deserved reputation for its quality, but also for its gastronomic culture. Waking up in any corner of this southern province of Ecuador means breathing in the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. It simply defines the local culture.

The 526 hectares of coffee plantations throughout the province have a century-old tradition, due to the presence of the three essential ingredients for growing amazing coffee: tropical climate, highlands, and volcanic soil.

Napo – World’s Supplier of Instant Coffee

This region is in the rainforests near the Amazon and therefore cultivates mostly Robusta beans. The quality of coffee beans that are grown in Napo is known around the world. It is one of the largest suppliers of instant coffee.

Top 5 Ecuador Coffee Brands on Amazon

Thanks to the popularity of Ecuador coffee, many online shops have added them to their list of products. Amazon is definitely not an exception here, in fact, we think that the best Ecuador coffee brands are found exactly here. This is why we’ve created a top 5 list to make it easier for you to filter them.

How We Rated Them

We pay attention to the following:

For more detailed information on how exactly we rate the coffee products we suggest in our guides, click here.

Individual Overviews of Our Top Choices

Of course, Amazon has its own reviews from users and they share opinions about each product, but we also offer our insight into these coffee brands and what makes them so special. Here is a minor overview of the products and an unbiased look at them.

Café Ñucallacta Single Origin

Price: $$14.99 (subject to change)

Size: 12 oz

Type: Arabica

Roast: Medium

Producer: Café Ñucallacta

Beans: Whole

I’m not going to lie here. Seeing an Alpaca on the package of this product really stole my attention from the get-go. I was particularly intrigued by Café Ñucallacta and I have to say that I got lucky.

The medium roast Arabica from Ecuador is a pretty good quality for the asking price. It’s rich with fruity and caramel undertones and isn’t too bitter or acidic, reminiscent of other coffee beans from the region.

I personally tried making it as a Cafe con Leche (coffee with milk) with a French Press and the taste came out really nice. The milk added a bit of sweetness to the drink or simply enhanced it I’m not sure, but I felt like I had added a teaspoon of sugar.

Check Price on Amazon

Piedra Negra Organic Gourmet

Price: $$12.95 (subject to change)

Size: 12 oz

Type: Arabica

Roast: Medium

Producer: The Spirit of The Forest

Beans: Ground

This product was a bit of a shocker for me. I wasn’t really expecting these beans to be good as an Espresso, more like a Lungo or an Americano, but after making it in my Moka Pot, I was surprised by how much crema it produced.

The taste was a bit more bitter compared to Café Ñucallacta, but I can’t really complain about that, it was my choice to make an Espresso from it. As for other flavors, I didn’t really get much. It was just a creamy and smooth cup of coffee anyone would enjoy in the morning.

I don’t really see this as a good beverage with something sweet on the side, but something completely on its own to wake you up in the morning. The price is pretty decent as well, coming in at around $1.1 per cup.

Check Price on Amazon

Z Beans Natural Processed Coffee

Price: $$18.99 (subject to change)

Size: 12 oz

Type: Arabica

Roast: Medium

Producer: Z Beans Coffee

Beans: Whole

This punched me in the face and I liked it. Z Beans Coffee is somewhat known for having very strong products, but I was definitely not expecting such a pick-me-up.

The moment I started drinking it, I felt like I had brewed a dark roast coffee and not a medium roast that’s mentioned on the package. It was incredibly intense, but still somehow retained that flavor of caramel and tropical fruit characteristic of Ecuador roast coffee.

This particular brand is also pretty nice for the morning, but a bit more expensive than the one before it. If you’re a fan of intense coffee that’s going to wake you up from the first sip, then I totally recommend it. If you like to enjoy your morning and not assault your taste buds, then The Spirit of The Forest coffee may be a bit more up your alley.

Check Price on Amazon

Cafe Del Cerro Arabica

Price: $$9.99 (subject to change)

Size: 10 oz

Type: Arabica

Roast: Medium-Dark

Producer: Everglobe

Beans: Ground

I don’t know how Everglobe managed to do it, but I think they’ve made coffee that will be enjoyed by pretty much every type of person.

It’s not too intense, nor is it too light, it’s just right for that craving of coffee you get after waking up or eating your meal. It’s not too expensive to blow your socks off completely or anything, nor is it so cheap you’d think you’re buying dirt or something.

I applaud Everglobe for finding the goldilocks zone of coffee beans. I don’t know how they did it, but it’s a sight to behold.

I’m not saying that this is the best product you’ll ever buy for sure, though. What I’m saying is that no matter what your taste preferences are, this product will not leave you disappointed. But, nor will it make your day.

Check Price on Amazon

Minerva Classico Ground Coffee

Price: $$13.44 (subject to change)

Size: 14 oz

Type: Robusta

Roast: Medium

Producer: Minerva

Beans: Ground

Minerva Classico is pretty much your basic Ecuador instant coffee to have in the morning or when you’re craving something warm and energetic.

It’s ground Robusta beans, which doesn’t really imply the best taste, but I’d say it’s passable. This is a product designed for somebody who has absolutely no time to grind and brew their beans every single day. All you have to do in this case is get a tablespoon of this coffee, pour hot water over it and you’re done.

It’s cheap, it’s effective, but it’s not the best drink you’ll ever have. Still recommended though.

Check Price on Amazon

Ecuadorian Coffee Brewing Guides – Recommended Machines

In this section of our guide, I will talk about the machines I used to brew Ecuador coffee beans and which ones yielded the best results. I tried to come up with alternatives for some of the machines as not everybody will have them, so I hope the information below is useful.

Filtered Coffee – Colador

Filtered coffee is basically the traditional brewing method across all of Latin America. Most families used a piece of cloth that looked a lot like a sock more than a filter, but it still yielded amazing brews.

It’s a pretty simple process, to be honest. You take the piece of cloth, be it in a sock-form or whatever. Pout in about 1-1.5 ounces of ground Arabica coffee and slowly pour in hot (not boiling) water. You then sit back and wait until all of the grounds are filtered and your cup is full. Make sure to squeeze the filter just a little bit to get those last drops of coffee out, that’s where most of the flavor is hiding and you don’t want to miss that.

Once you’re done, just dispose of the filtered grounds and clean your filter for future use (unless it clearly states it’s single-use).

If you have a hard time finding a colador (sock filter) then I suggest you use a Pour Over coffee maker for it. It’s effective, affordable, and makes a pretty nice brew.

List of Pour Over Coffee Makers

The Moka Pot

I really wanted to talk about Espresso Machines, since I used one, but it’s not like everybody has it, so I’m writing about the best alternative you can get.

The main advantage of an Espresso machine is that it creates pressure that brews a much stronger and concentrated coffee that cannot be brewed any other way. Thankfully, a Moka Pot or any other percolator can come to a somewhat similar result.

Percolators work in a slightly similar way of building pressure at the bottom with water vapor and then brewing the beans above to create the brew at the very top of the coffee maker.

I chose to make it with a Moka Pot simply because it is one of the cheapest coffee makers you can ever get online.

Check Out The Best Moka Pots

Best Ways to Drink Ecuador Coffee – Top Types

Machines can play a big role in brewing coffee beans, but the way we brew them and the things we add can drastically change our experience as well. With Ecuador coffee beans, it’s extremely important that we don’t add anything that could potentially damage the natural tastes for which we are paying for when ordering online. Below you will find the best brews I’ve tried with these beans so far.

Lungo – Best Way to Brew Ecuador Coffee

Lungo is pretty much the traditional method of drinking coffee in Ecuador. The colador method we talked about above is primarily used to brew Lungo, so it’s pretty obvious that Lungo would be one of the best brews.

It doesn’t dilute the coffee as much as an Americano would, nor does it concentrate it as much as an Espresso would. It’s like that golden middle that suits Ecuador coffee best.

Lungo Guide

Cafe con Leche

This directly translates to coffee with milk. The milk is not as intense as with the Latte in Cafe con Leche and therefore helps the coffee retain its aroma and natural flavors. It simply cuts back on the acidity.


The high acidity of Ecuador coffee is exactly what people who love Espressos in the morning are looking for. It’s strong and has a bite, but that’s what we all love.

Espresso Brewing Guide

Things to Avoid with Ecuador Coffee Beans

The first one is Mocha (the beans already have a chocolatey aftertaste with some hints of cocoa. Adding more of it may make it taste more like hot chocolate than coffee)

Basically, anything with added sweets is also something every person should avoid when it comes to Ecuador coffee beans. These beans have a natural sweetness to them. Adding more sugar or anything similar could ruin the taste.

Frequently Asked Questions on Ecuador Coffee Beans

Does Ecuador have good coffee?

What does Ecuador coffee taste like?