Las Tolas is an exclusive variety that was cultivated by Arnaud Causse in Las Tolas. He planted a forest to shelter his coffee trees with more than 25 different tree species, some of which are endemic. Beehives are around and honey plants are used to produce essential oils to treat coffee trees naturally. Fruit trees are a refuge for birds and leguminous plants enrich the soil with nitrogen. These solutions for crop diversification, shade, natural treatment and soil enrichment allow Arnaud to grow his coffee with zero pesticides.
Our first coffee from Ecuador has a fantastic cup profile: Notes of pineapple, passion fruit and meringue are predominant and supported by super interesting cedar flavour. High tropical acidity is balanced off by high sweetness. Citric finish.
Being passionate about gastronomy, high mountains and rugby, Arnaud Causse is a charismatic character who loves challenges. His passion for coffee has took to every corner of the world. He plunged into the search for excellence and created the project of Las Tolas. Arnaud juggles preparation processes and variety experiments. His background as an agricultural engineer and his international experiences in coffee growing make him a unique producer.
Las Tolas is an exclusive variety cultivated on Arnaud´s farms in Las Tolas. This variety comes from a Male Sterile (a very rare variety whose anthers do not produce pollen) which has been pollinated by another related variety (probably a Bourbon). Las Tolas is therefore a F1 Direct hybrid and proves to be extremely stable genetically speaking. Her production potential and her cup (quite similar to a Caturra oddly enough) prompted him to breed her and adapt her to Terrazas del Pisque.
The coffee is planted in a new forest at Las Terrazas del Pisque, right in the middle of the desert. The farm is very experimental and it is located on the slopes of the Andes mountain range at an altitude of between 1,700 and 2,100 metres. The plantation grows entirely under the shade of castor-oil plants and Inga, acacia, papaya, grapefruit, lemon, mandarin, avocado, tea, fig, cypress, ash, pomegranate, eucalyptus, broom and medlar trees, to name just a few!
As Arnaud puts it: “The trees at Las Tolas all know each other well, coffee is the only intruder, whereas at Las Terrazas all the trees are strangers to each other so they don’t reject the coffee, which is no more of an intruder in the ecosystem than they are.”
The farm is named after the El Pisque river which flows below, fed by the melting snow falling from the Cayambe volcano. Arnaud cultivates just 15 of a total 40 hectares. He also has hives, and when the trees are in full bloom bees invade the plantation gathering nectar from flower to flower among coffee, lavender and raspberry plants. In order to protect his bees, Arnaud does not use any pesticides on his farms and treats his coffee trees using tagetes, lavender and rosemary essential oils, which he produces himself.
Las Terrazas has its own micro-ecosystem. Arnaud uses his honey plants, which include tagetes, melissa, oregano and lavender, to create essential oils and attract bees to produce honey. He grows vegetables to supply the farm and to fix the nitrogen in the soil. And his fruit trees create an ideal habitat for birds, which eat the fruit fly larvae in return.
The farm is managed from day to day by Wilson, an agricultural engineer and son of a local farmer who is particularly aware of the importance of sustainable farming.