An Award-Winning, Technical Producer
This year Royal is partnering with CafExporto to bring some of the best coffees from Ecuador. It’s headed up by Juan Peña, a well-known producer from Loja in Ecuador who has won three consecutive Sprudgies for “Notable Producer”. Since 2011, Juan Peña has been single-mindedly dedicated to producing coffee of extraordinary quality in his hometown of Loja in southern Ecuador. Coming from the floral sector producing roses commercially for the international market, and with a masters in agronomy from the University of Cuenca, he brings innovation and detailed data collection to coffee production. His facility includes covered “drying rooms” which allow him to control the rate of drying very precisely; in general, he’s found that slower drying times – as long as 30 days – have a significant impact not only on cup quality, but on shelf stability as well.
Juan Peña’s Finca La Papaya is known for producing phenomenal coffees and has been a favorite for USBC routines in recent years. While most of these coffees sold out quickly, we still have a couple available in our warehouse – specifically Peña’s Oak Barrel Typica and his Anaerobic Typica, two truly incredible coffees that retain stellar cleanliness while benefiting from his meticulous processing methods.
Juan Peña Presents x Royal Coffee
This year, Juan Peña has undertaken a new effort to source coffees specially for Royal under the label “Juan Peña Presents”. Peña found four communities who were already producing high quality coffee, and who were interested in continuing to improve by partnering with CafExporto.
When he began working with other producers, he knew he’d have to use a hands-on approach. While teaching them the data collection techniques that make Peña’s processing so repeatable, he also takes time to do regular visits to each farm and instruct them on how to make incremental improvements with their current set up and on their equipment. Each producer receives detailed one-on-one coaching to ensure that the quality of their product is up to Peña’s standards.
Many of the farms CafExporto is now working with are owned and operated by women who have not had access to international markets in previous years; their connection to CafExporto has increased their income by as much as 25%.
Favorites from the ‘Juan Peña Presents’ Project
Check out these coffees from Juan Peña. We have no doubt you’ll love them as much as we do.
27273 Ecuador Zamora Chinchipe Juan Pena Presents Palanda Blend: This coffee is simply delicious and unique while remaining uncontroversial. The acidity stays in the soft, sweet world of Fuji apple, clementine, and mild citrus zest. Sugars range from juicy chirimoya to vanilla, and the mouthfeel is coating but clean – airy marshmallows come to mind in both the texture and the sweet aftertaste. This blend from 55 producers in Chito would sing on espresso, bringing a chocolatey punch balanced by clear and clean fruit acidity. On pour over (or even batch brew!) it can range from syrupy sweet to juicy and bright, always with a crystallinity that speaks directly to the care and dedication put into harvest and processing. Chito, in Zamora Chinchipe, is in the far southeast of Ecuador, right next to the border with Peru. This community is represented by Cosmel Merino and most of the farmers are families, with 30% of these being led by a matriarch. These are small-lot farmers, who’s average lot size is about four acres. Historically, it has been extremely difficult for this community to access the international market; most of their coffees have remained in-country, and price points have been tragically low. The sector produces about 1.5 million pounds of coffees a year; it has an ideal climate for coffee production and cup quality remains very high. CafExporto is investing in the Chito community by providing seedlings and soldiers of new varieties like Typica Mejorada and Sidra and introducing new fertilization and growing practices to further improve the quality of this coffee in the years to come.
More Ecuador lots from Juan Peña Presents:
22 lb Ecuador Crown Jewels: