Coffee from the Galapagos is unique in the Arabica coffee world. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the thirteen Galapagos Islands are highly protected, with only two being approved for agricultural production, San Cristóbal and Santa Cruz. Our coffee comes from San Cristóbal, the larger of the two islands, and the only one with certified sustainability, including USDA Organic, Bird Friendly, and Shade-Grown certifications.
Located approximately 600 miles off the western coast of Ecuador, and south of Guatemala and El Salvador, the Galapagos Islands have nutrient-packed soil and a microclimate ideal for coffee growing. San Cristóbal is the largest and easternmost island on the archipelago. Measuring approximately 215 square miles in area, San Cristóbal is the most fertile of the Galapagos Islands and the only island in the archipelago with a freshwater source, lake El Junco. San Cristóbal also has the honor of being the first Galapagos Island visited by Darwin during his travels in the 1830s. With rich volcanic soil (San Cristóbal is essentially a series of extinct volcanos), a stable microclimate, and the renowned Humboldt Current, San Cristóbal grows ‘high-grown arabicas’ despite its low maximum altitude of 2,400 feet above sea level. This is thanks to the Humboldt Current, also known as the Peru Current, a highly productive, low-salinity ocean current that surrounds San Cristóbal island. The cool, moist air generated by the Humboldt Current creates a stable, temperate microclimate, similar to what we normally see around 4,000 feet above sea level, at a mere 1,000 feet above sea level on San Cristóbal.
Coffee has been growing on San Cristóbal since 1875, when Don Manuel J. Cobos, a coffee lover, and the island’s first warden, smuggled bourbon plants in from French Polynesia. These beautiful bourbon plants flourished on San Cristóbal and created the basis for what is now El Cafetal, the archipelago’s premier hacienda and exporter of naturally-grown, pure bourbon coffee. El Cafetal’s arabica beans are smooth, sweet, and relatively rare — just over 1 square mile of the island is devoted to coffee growing.
At TheQueenBean / Mills Coffee, we roast this beautiful organically-grown coffee to a medium shade to preserve the bean’s natural balance and smooth acidity. Wonderfully aromatic with good body and naturally sweet with a caramel-kissed chocolatey, buttery base and delicate orange citrus overtones. To purchase more about Galapagos Island coffee, click here.
KEY COFFEE CHARACTERISTICS
- Acidity: medium-high
- Body: good
- Mouthfeel: moderate
- Roast: medium
- Prominent flavor tones: caramel, chocolate, delicate citrus fruit
- Varietal: bourbon