Coffee and Coffee Travel Travel South America

5 Cool Coffee Experiences in Northern Ecuador

August 4, 2017
Sunlight and shadow in Galleti in Old Quito, Ecuador

Ecuadorian coffee lacks the sophisticated marketing of its northern neighbour. However, although a relatively small country, its volcanic soil and mountainous landscapes produce some spectacular coffees. Where can travellers find cool coffee experiences in Ecuador? Start right here…

5. Do a Taste Testing Tour of Ecuadorian Coffee in Old Quito 

Old Quito has some of the best colonial architecture of any city in Latin America. At its best, visitors will feel as if they are walking through history. However, it is also home to Galletti. This café is a great starting point for those who want to learn more about Ecuadorian coffees.
For a mere $3.50 baristas will use a variety of brewing methods to introduce visitors to coffees from throughout Ecuador. The Cathedral coffee from Loja in the south and the coffee from the Amazon region provide a study in contrasts. If the former is light and fruity, the latter is full bodied and leaves a strong taste in the mouth.

Address: Pasaje Espejo entre Guayaquil y Flores.
(Hall del Teatro Bolívar, Centro histórico)

Note: English speakers will need to arrange taste testing sessions in advance.

4. Visit a Finca and Go Ziplining at Mindo Canopy Adventures 

Coffee trees in plantation at Mindo Canopy Adventures

The plantation tour at Mindo Canopy Adventures takes visitors from the tree to the cup

Mindo, home to a gorgeous cloud forest, is more famous for its extreme sports. However, this part of Ecuador has coffee that is almost as stunning as its scenery. At Mindo Canopy Adventures, coffee lovers can learn about their favourite drink and then go zip lining.
Segundo, who works with the coffee in the plantation, explains the whole process of growing coffee. Manuel, a Tico living in Mindo, is passionate about brewing.   He will teach visitors how to get the best out of a French Press. As a special treat, Manuel will also demonstrate how to brew coffee using the traditional Latin American chuspa. For those who have never heard of it, the chuspa is a cloth filter that people throughout the region use to brew coffee at home. Since he makes sensational coffee, visitors may want to go zip lining afterward to work off that caffeine kick.

Find out more about them or contact them via their website

Note: Although Segundo only speaks Spanish, Manuel is able to provide the tour to English speakers.

3. Enjoy Colombian Charm and Coffee in a Corner of Ibarra

Photo of sofa upstairs in coffee shop in Ibarra

The place to get comfortable in this coffee shop

Travellers don’t have to stay in Quito to enjoy cool café culture. Mauricio, a native of Pasto in Nariño, brings both the coffee and the laid-back charm of his region to Ibarra. Get comfortable in the big armchair in the upstairs balcony section of the café. Nariño coffee has won plenty of prizes in Colombia. With its tangy citrus notes, you truly won’t wonder why. Add in the comfort factor and Quinde is a place you could easily spend a day. Make sure to go soon because Mauricio and his wife have plans to move back to Colombia next year.

Posing for photo in Quinde, Ibarra

Dress up- they may want to put you on the wall in Quinde, Ibarra, Ecuador

Spanish speakers can find out more on their Facebook page

Those relying on English should note that Mauricio only speaks Spanish. Regardless, he may want to put a Panama hat on you to get a photo for his world map.

 2. Seek Out The Best Coffee Roasters in Fashionable New Quito

Photo of coffee and cheesecake at La Traviesa, Quito, Ecuador

The cheesecake may be one of the best I ever tried…

La Traviesa has that sleek look that wouldn’t be out of place in a fashionable New York or Seattle coffee house. Yes, on first glance, the wooden chairs may seem functional. However, those big cushions just invite patrons to sit back and relax. With a cool Latino soundtrack and excellent Internet access, digital nomads will feel perfectly at home. After all, the spacious interior is perfect for getting work done. Baristas take their time to finish off the latte art to perfection. Add in a scrumptious cheesecake and it’s a place you may not want to leave.

Find out more about them right here on their Facebook page (in Spanish)

1. Have a Vietnamese Iced Coffee with the Quiteño Hipsters at Isveglio

Photo of exterior of Isveglio in Quito, Ecuador

Isveglio defines hip and cool coffee in Quito

On a side street near Calle José Tamayo, Isveglio personifies Quito’s hipster scene in black and white. Indeed, the ever-present hum of conversation is proof of this café’s popularity with locals. Baristas present customers with a choice of Ecuadorian coffee beans. Attention to detail is key here, so much so that people take photos of their drinks and desserts with their phones. Isveglio is surprisingly innovative. Veteran travellers should try their take on Ca Phe Sua Da, Vietnamese iced coffee with milk. It’s a slightly more sophisticated take on a Saigon staple. In any case, this cool café will provide a fitting end to your coffee tour of Ecuador.

Find out more about them right here on their Facebook page (in Spanish)

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  • topcat66blog August 5, 2017 at 10:57

    Interesting article and you look good in the pic! Italy must agree with you. My tip for a new coffee experience: Cuba. I have just been there and I don’t drink coffee, but they actually got me to try some and like it. Although in Jamaica they claimed to have the best coffee in the world, Blue Mountain coffee, up in the clouds. Maybe for your next visit? Keep on posting.

    • Unlatinoverde August 11, 2017 at 21:19

      Cuba is a place I could indeed visit. Good to hear that they have good coffee. You’ll have to tell me where to visit!

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