A new roastery cafe in Ecuador called Coffee Relief held its grand opening this week, promising Ecuadorian-grown specialty coffees in upscale environs east of Quito.
The shop’s coffee bar centers around a pourover program designed in collaboration with Portland, Oregon-based equipment maker Pure Over. The new cafe is promoting the paper-filter-free Pure Over brew with top billing on the menu board.
“Our best seller is brewed coffee,” Coffee Relief International Director Carolina Ortiz told DCN. “We are certain that reducing filter papers will have a huge impact on reducing our carbon footprint.”
The borosilicate glass Pure Over brewers’ crystal clarity are also a natural aesthetic fit to the cafe, in which transparency is a core interior design motif. The roughly 2,150-square-foot space’s high ceilings and abundant windows allow for plenty of light to bounce off of white walls and through open shelving.
The vision for the cafe was brought to life through collaboration between Coffee Relief and Cumbayá-based Ecuadorian creative firm AOS Studio. Angeles Ortiz, founder of AOS, is also the younger sister of Carolina Ortiz.
Inside, a Victoria Arduino White Eagle espresso machine supports a traditional variety of espresso-based drinks on a menu that also features a cascara beverage and brews through Aeropress, V60, Brewista and Chemex. A paper-filtered cup brewed in a V60 costs $5, whereas the shop calls attention to the paperless counterpart brewed via Pure Brew with a price of $4.50.
Coffees are roasted on site by master roaster Juan Pablo Ortiz, Carolina Ortiz’s brother, on 5-kilo-capacity Toper and 1-kilo Aillio Bullet roasters. Carolina Ortiz said the company visits Ecuadorian coffee producers on a regular basis while providing some insight on quality development, roasting and brewing, and generally how farmers’ products are consumed at the other end of the supply chain.
“We have worked with coffee farms from Loja and from the Galapagos Islands,” said Ortiz. “This year we will be working with Pichincha.”
Coffee Relief was founded in September 2020 by Carolina and Angeles Ortiz’s mother, entrepreneur Nardelia Espinoza. The brand initially operated a cafe inside the upscale Hotel Quito for its first two years, before moving into the new cafe, roastery and training lab this summer.
Moving forward, the business plans to engage directly with more producers while introducing workshops for guests interested in learning from the company’s professional baristas and roasters.
“Ecuador is a specialty coffee producer,” said Carolina Ortiz. “We wanted to engage our local community to embrace this fact and feel proud about it.”