Skip to product information
1 of 8

Scenery Coffee

Ecuador - Mario Hervas

Ecuador - Mario Hervas

We’ve known Mario for years as part of our journey through the coffee industry, and have come to highly respect his dedication and consistent excellence in the output of Finca El Meridiano.  When we had the opportunity to purchase his coffee for the Scenery offer, we jumped on it without a moment’s hesitation. 

Mario doesn’t follow hype trends, but through his use of careful agronomy, selective breeding and meticulous tweaking of his processing techniques, he produces what we think is a superlative example of the Mejorado cultivar's genetic potential.

Regular price £18.00
Regular price Sale price £18.00
Sale Sold out
Tax included. Shipping calculated at checkout.
View full details

Brew Guide:

Best Brewed with: Filter

We’re roasting this coffee as light as we can get away with, to really highlight the work Mario does in preserving the flavour both of his agronomy and the provenance of the farm. Some of the cleanest, brightest cultivar expression we’ve tasted consistently year after year, demands the same from our roasting.

We recommend resting this coffee for 2-3 weeks before brewing. 

Espresso: 18g in, 50g out, 25-30s, go faster and longer yield for a turbo-style shot with high clarity

Filter: for fruitiness - 60g/L ratio (roughly 1:16) or go for complexity and elegance with a 55g/l (roughly 1:18). We recommend water just off boil for this coffee.

We’re tasting: Baked apple, floral jasmine and bergamot aromas, with an elegant and complex cup - earl grey tea, apricot and peach with a juicy body. As it cools, a sweetness of custard apple and rambutan.


Country of Origin:
Nanegal, Pichincha
Finca El Meridiano
Mario Jose Hervas
1350-1500 MASL
Washed: Hand picked, floated and re-sorted at the collection point, held in cherry in water for 18-20 hours before pulping. Parchment dry fermented for 18 to 20 hours before washing with fresh water. Dried on raised beds inside parabolic driers
Import Partner:
Crop 23/24:
Cherries picked from 
June - August 2023.
Arrived UK: Jan 24

The Story

We’ve been working with Mario Hervas for over 6 years through our roles in the coffee industry - and upon finding his previous UK buyer had terminated their relationship with him, we were more than ready to step in when we saw his coffee available on the Makicuna pre-shipment list, taking the entire lot on the spot.

In a time in the coffee industry where the headlines seem dominated by high technical intervention processing with significant effect on the cup, Mario is a refreshing exception. Thanks to his previous career as a rose farmer and agronomist, Mario has turned his experience towards obsessive improvement of Finca El Meridiano since starting the farm in 2011.

The 25 HA Finca El Meridiano sits in the stunningly biodiverse and thriving cloud forests of Nanegal, in the foothills of the Andean mountains. The climatic conditions around Pichincha means farms receive high rainfall and a relatively high humidity, which can make for a tough environment for certain varieties and cultivars of coffees more adapted to drier climes.

Mario tells us the first six to seven years of running the farm were tough and that he made many mistakes in the process of learning about the art of growing, processing and selling coffee, but he stuck at it - and while each year brings new challenges and learning, it’s started to pay off - like taking 10th place in the inaugural Ecuador Cup of Excellence, for a start.

One of the things Mario credits for his success is his nursery and breeding program. The “Mejorado” cultivar has its history in a Nestle variety garden, and is a cross between Bourbon and an Ethiopian landrace (likely for the purposes of hybrid vigour, improved yield and quality). This variety is gaining a strong reputation for quality - deep sweetness, florality and complexity when grown well.

Mario has germinated, selected and bred every single tree on the farm. By selecting only those Mejorado trees that performed well in Meridiano, the 10 HA that are planted with coffee are strong, healthy, high yielding and of impeccable quality. The coffee from Meridiano is incredibly consistent - and considering the impacts of climate change and general natural variability, it’s no mean feat.

Scoffing at the thought of natural processing, anaerobics, co-ferments and the like, Mario has been tweaking his washed process (and more recently white/yellow honey process) to bring out the cleanest expression of the land and cultivar. One aspect he credits for the quality of the fermentation is the quality of the private springs that provide the farm water.

Mario’s coffee comes with a price - that we think is more than fair to pay. Ecuador is a dollarized economy, which broadly means their internal goods and services (including labour) are more expensive when compared to neighbouring countries. One of the biggest challenges in running a speciality farm in Ecuador is the labour to pick the cherries. Seasonal itinerant labour is reduced in Ecuador, as many who would undertake it have migrated north in search of economic empowerment. While Mario pays more for quality, it can be hard to retain pickers - to the point it is almost better to pay someone who picks poorly (and re-sort the cherries at the collection point), than to force the issue and have them not turn up the next day.

There are never enough pickers to get all the cherries on the farm - so Mario’s focus to ensure his farm is profitable is on  adding value through quality, rather than bulk quantity.

Having worked on the Mejorado project for some time, Mario is turning his attention to Rosado and Gesha - although he says there is some work to be done yet to select for the genetic expression he is looking for. We’re very excited to see what he cooks up - we’ll try and be first in line for the early harvests, that’s for sure.

Credit for additional farm & producer photography: Makicuna, M. Hervas