Ecuador - Juan Peña - Hacienda La Papaya - Anaerobic Washed

Producer: Juan Peña - Hacienda La Papaya

Region: Saraguro, Loja Province, Ecuador

Elevation: 1,900 - 2,100 meters above sea level

Process: Anaerobic Washed

Varietal: Typica

Coffee Story*

Our second season importing coffee from Juan Peña and his farm Hacienda la Papaya brings with it the inevitable return of his unparalleled coffees to our Crown Jewel menu, including this atypically long and anaerobically fermented and washed Typica. 

Peña’s reputation for crafting exceptional coffees precedes him. He holds three “Sprudgie” Notable Producer awards, a degree in agronomy, and maintains an agreement with Cuenca’s University for research and development, in addition to having his coffees regularly featured on the global competition stages. Hacienda la Papaya boasts consecutive annual top 3 placements in brewers, baristas, and/or roasters championships in the US circuit beginning in 2016. 

The farm, Hacienda La Papaya, is just 28 acres in size but benefits from high elevation and good microclimates. Located 20km away from Saraguro toward the Andes, the project started in 2009 with planting in 2010, and now more than a decade later employs 7 permanent workers with an additional 40 seasonal workers during peak harvest, most of whom use the formal employment (of which there is little in the rural agricultural zone) to support their families. 

Beyond the farm, Peña has established an export company, CafExporto, to manage the dry milling, quality control, export logistics, and marketing efforts. The direct line from farm to port allows for a high degree of transparency and control, and has facilitated a wider network of neighboring farms, both large and micro-scale to begin gaining access to specialty coffee export market opportunities. 

Peña considers Hacienda la Papaya not only a Centro de Producción, but also a center of investigation with disciplinary teams such as agronomics, baristas, and cacao farmers. “We experiment with chemistry and I’m pretty sure that we have the best quality control, with sensors on harvest, developing of fertilizer, and drying rooms” he says. 

Peña’s passion for research has helped him unlock the potential for quality with different varieties and processing methods. This lot is an example of careful selection of the Typica variety. After carefully harvesting and selection of cherries they are pulped and moved to polyethylene tanks where coffee ferments for up to 100 hours with strict temperature controls. After fermentation, coffee is transferred to raised beds where coffee dries for up to 30 days before the coffee is moved to CaféExporto, which provides crucial logistical support for things like warehousing and preparing coffee for export to the international market. 

*written by Chris Kornman with contributions from Mayra Orellana Powell and Phillip Smith - Royal Coffee