Located in an arid desert area of Ecuador, Las Terrazas del Pisque coffee farm, owned by independent producer Arnaud Causse, thrives in an ecosystem where the coffee plants have acclimatized wonderfully. The farm is named after the El Pisque river which flows below, fed by the melting snow falling from the Cayambe volcano.
Las Terrazas del Pisque is Arnaud’s second farm. Historically dedicated to cow breeding, he took the farm over in 2012. It is a more experimental farm than his first, Las Tolas, and is located on the peaceful slopes of the Andes mountain range at an altitude of between 1,700 and 2,100 metres in an arid, desert microclimate. He began by planting a forest to create a microclimate that could accommodate his coffee trees, which include more than 25 species, some of which are endemic.As a result, his 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!
Arnaud 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. He uses his honey plants, which include tagetes, melissa, oregano and lavender, to create essential oils and attract bees to produce honey. He grows legumes 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.