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This is a traditional natural coffee from Loja, Ecuador, produced by Juan Peña on his farm Hacienda La Papaya.
The flavor profile is of extraordinary quality and complexity: we noted flavors of nectarine, green apple, mango, and dark chocolate.
Our roasters found the coffee chaffy, and to take color quickly at the end of the roast.
When brewed, baristas needed a slightly coarser grind to avoid overextraction but found the cup quality excellent as a pour-over with good potential for espresso.
Taste Analysis by Sandra Loofbourow
It’s such an honor to be working with Juan Pena’s coffee. His years of experience and meticulous processing come through in the form of extraordinary cup quality – this natural being a perfect example. While not boozy or winey, this coffee presents incredible complexity and sweetness in the form of extremely juicy stone fruit, delicate, white-fleshed fruits like pear and green apple, and the intense sweetness of mangoes and raspberries. Baking spice notes of cinnamon, hazelnut, and dark chocolate bring perfect balance to this supremely delicious cup.
Source Analysis by Chris Kornman & Philip Smith (CafExporto)
This is Royal Coffee’s first season working with Juan Peña and his farm Hacienda La Papaya in the Loja province of southern Ecuador. With Peña’s reputation for crafting exceptional coffees (he holds three consecutive “Sprudgie” Notable Producer awards), expectations were extremely high and I’m thrilled to say the coffee delivers on every level.
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. Overseen by Peña, who holds a degree in agronomy, the farm is outfitted with drip irrigation for each of its 35,000 trees.
Juan’s strategy has always been to keep researching and growing with technology. The farm has an agreement with Cuenca’s University and Juan personally 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” Juan Says.
Hacienda la Papaya employs 7 permanent workers. During the four months of harvest, they hire up to 40 additional workers. It’s a source of formal employment, because those who work on the farm have social security. It’s the only business that provides formal employment in the zone. All the workers are from the community. Eighty percent are women, and most workers have families with kids. Also, during the months of school vacation, high school students work on the farm as well because it coincides with the months of harvest.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
This is an immaculately processed fruit-dried Typica from southern Ecuador. Hacienda la Papaya’s trees have been genetically tested by World Coffee Research and Peña maintains distinct groves of “mother” trees exclusively for seed propagation to preserve the genetic integrity of the daughter populations.
Typica was the world’s first global cultivar, brought by the Dutch to Java in the last decade of the 17th century from western India (which had arrived from Yemen nearly a century before). It would go on to populate colonial coffee holdings throughout most of the world and dominate production until the closely-related Bourbon variety appeared on the world coffee scene in the 19th century. Typica is often recognized for its long leaf and seed shape, tall spindly tree appearance, and relatively low yields compared to other commercially grown cultivars.
Natural coffees at Hacienda La Papaya are dried in a mix of classic sun-dried on patios and in temperature controlled rooms. This process may extend as long as 20-30 days. The lot here is expertly dried with low moisture and high density and has a great sort on the screen size.
Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Chris Kornman
This immaculate natural coffee was a surprisingly fun and easy coffee to roast. The high density green paired with long drying times and low water activity gave me confidence to start this coffee hot at 410F on the bean probe and let it soak. Turning around at about 88 seconds with a nice low 180F, I turned the gas up pretty high to compensate, as I didn’t want to waste time getting out of the drying phase (seeing as how it’s only 10.3% moisture).
The coffee managed to reach color change a little before the five minute mark (we’ll log that as a small victory) and I hit the brakes on the burners and opened up the airflow about a minute later. A couple of early pops preceded the start of a rolling first crack by about 30 seconds. With nowhere to go but “off” with the burners, I watched as a quick blip on the rate of rise quickly receded and the coffee gradually slowed, I didn’t end up needing to pull the kill switch on the gas.
Pulling the tryer a few times a minute throughout development, I was looking for a light but even development, knowing that some naturals can color a little quickly and may tend to run away near the end of first crack. I dropped the batch at 90 seconds of development, and around 9:30 total roast time. The exterior ColorTrack reading of 65 stopped me in my tracks. This was much darker than intended. However, a subsequent ground reading of 56 – while still darker than I’d hoped – was within the range of “medium-light.” I crossed my fingers and set the coffee aside to cup the following day.
I was absolutely gobsmacked by this coffee on the table, and clearly had no reason to worry about the roast. The coffee is utterly exquisite and a strong contender for best natural arrival of 2022. This beauty will be in the eye of the beholder, as folks looking for boozy, winey, or overripe berry notes should look elsewhere (try the sibling lot CJ1465 anaerobic Ecuador for that). This cup is filled with perfectly ripened stone fruit notes: plum, peach nectar, and some mango and raspberry for balance. Hints of dark chocolate alluded to a slightly developed roast but didn’t distract. It’s also got quite a punchy acidity at this style. We’re considering using it for espresso but I’ll need to develop a different roast for that brew style, this one’s just a little on the tart side for that.
All things considered, this is a delightful coffee to roast and taste and you shouldn’t be scared to toss it in your machine. Keep an eye on the slightly quick development at the end and try not to let it get too dark, but you’ll likely end up with something extraordinary even with a few minor missteps on the profile. Coffees like this make a roaster’s job look easy – a credit to Juan Peña and his team at Hacienda la Papaya.
You can find my profile for this roast online at: https://roast.world/@egilman/roasts/_TtfP7vuXD_6-AgwL7tMc
Aillio Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Evan Gilman
Unless otherwise noted, we use both the roast.world site and Artisan software to document our roasts on the Bullet. You can find our roast documentation below, by searching on roast.world, or by clicking on the Artisan links below.
Generally, we have good results starting our 500g roasts with 195C / 383F preheating, P2 power, F4 fan, and d6 drum speed. Take a look at our roast profiles below, as they are constantly changing!
Three phenomenal coffees from Ecuador are in our queue this week, and it has been a wild ride roasting and tasting them side by side. I nearly held my breath as I started my roast of the fruit-dried version, but it turned out to be for nothing – this was an affable and quaffable coffee in the roaster and on the table. The incredible green stats here are a testament to Juan Peña’s processing prowess.
I made plenty of manipulations during this roast cycle, so this wasn’t a standard roast by any means, especially since I was expecting an unruly natural coffee. The 500g batch size and d6 drum speed were the same, but that’s about all. My charge temp was higher at 410F, with P6 power application, and F2 fan to start, ramping down to F1 at turning point. I also increased power application to P7 at turning point, just to really move this coffee quickly in the beginning of the roast.
At yellowing, I increased fan speed to F2 to move this coffee more gently into Maillard. Similarly, I reduced heat application to P6 at 300F, and when I saw a spike in rate of rise I decreased heat further to P5. I also increased fan speed a little to F3 at this spike in RoR, and kept it there until raising to F4 at first crack to carry away more smoke and chaff. The F4 fan speed really tanked the speed of the roast, but I was comfortable rolling into post-crack development with very little momentum as this coffee was looking rather dark even through the sight glass.
The results were 37% spent in drying/green, a whopping 47% in Maillard, and 15% post-crack development. Roast loss was a bit high at 12.9%, but taking a look at the chaff collector after this roast, I have the feeling that a good portion of that may have been chaff! Definitely clean your chaff canister after one or two roasts of this coffee.
On the table, this coffee was all clear and present tart dried cherry, dark chocolate, blood orange, and caramel. The finish had a tinge of sweet pipe tobacco essence, which I don’t often find. I do think that I may have taken this coffee a little too quickly through drying/green stage, or perhaps just a bit too long through the later stage of Maillard. While my cup wasn’t marred by the slight bitterness (a clear result of the roast, not of the coffee itself), I still would have liked a slightly cleaner take. I’m in full agreement with Chris’ assessment above – keep a stern eye on this coffee towards the end of the roast, but don’t fret. You’re going to find something delicious here!
Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Chris Kornman
We roasted this lovely natural Ecuador several different ways and decided to publish our two favorites here, classic roast profiles in this case producing the best results.
The standard hot and fast sample roast was slightly toasty on the aroma (this coffee tends to get dark quickly) but in the cup offered clean raspberry flavors and a juicy mouthfeel.
A similar profile with an extra 30 seconds of Maillard stage yielded a pristine and balanced coffee with lush fruit notes of peach and ripe blackberry. This was our favorite iteration from the Ikawa — unsurprisingly this roast profile handled the dense natural coffee easily; it was developed specifically for high density Ethiopian naturals, with which this Ecuador shares much in common.
You can download the profiles to your Ikawa Pro app here:
Roast 1: Crown Standard SR 1.0
Roast 2: Crown Maillard +30 SR 1.0
Brew Analysis by Nate Lumpkin
I was super excited to get my hands on the new batch of arrivals from Ecuador this week—the first I’ve tasted all year! I got the chance to brew up this dry-processed Typica with Lead Barista Kaleb Ede and found a fresh, clean, juicy cup, that performed really well no matter what we did with it. This coffee tasted so good in fact that we’re planning to give it a turn on the espresso bar, hopefully for service in the Tasting Room!
First we brewed this coffee on the Hario V60. I love this pour-over device for its consistency and ease of use, and like to use it as a “first pass” for many coffees. Usually I grind coffees for pour over on our EK43 at grind setting 8, but the brew took a little too long to finish, the TDS was a touch too high, and we tasted a hint of intense walnut and green apple. After coarsening the grind just a half-step to 8.5, the coffee brewed through at much more reasonable 3:46. It had a TDS of 1.37 and extraction of 20.09%, and notes in the cup of cranberry, white grape, milk chocolate, and even a white chocolate creaminess. It was clean with a hint of fresh walnut and hazel.
Next I reached for the Saint Anthony F70. I like the F70 a lot: it’s sturdy and stable, with a nice wide opening for pouring, and big single hole that allows faster brews. As expected, it brewed through a little faster, at 3:30, with a slightly lower extraction of 19.44%. I found the flavor profile outstanding, with an intense dark chocolate aroma and notes in the cup of bartlett pear, champagne, white grape, nectarine, lemon peel, melted dark chocolate, and butterscotch. I liked this cup a lot, and I’m excited to try it on our espresso bar!