Crown Jewel Ecuador Saraguro Juan Peña Anaerobic Natural – *CJ1465* – 27126 – SPOT RCWHSE

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This is an experimental anaerobic natural coffee from Loja, Ecuador, produced by Juan Peña on his farm Hacienda La Papaya.

The flavor profile is fun and funky, with floral hints reminiscent of lilacs, big blackberry notes, a citric acidity and tropical fruit flavors.

Our roasters found the coffee to roll into first crack slowly and to darken quickly at the end of the roast.

When brewed, we noted the coffee’s versatility, as conical pour-over brews were vibrant and clean, while flat-bottomed filters offered more depth.

Taste Analysis by Sandra Loofbourow

To say we’re excited to have Juan Peña’s coffee in house is an understatement. Anyone watching the US Coffee Championships or recent Sprudgie Awards has probably heard his name; folks paying attention to Ecuadorian coffee have noticed his precise processing style and extreme dedication to quality for years now. This anaerobic coffee is a stellar example of how Peña’s attention to detail results in a phenomenal cup. Look for jewel-toned citrus acidity, delicate florals like lilac, honeysuckle, and jasmine perfume, and fun tropicals like mangosteen. This is a versatile coffee that, with diligence, can be dialed in to produce a variety of cups from funky to floral to chocolatey.

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 green coffee is incredibly fragrant. Opening up the packaging, you will be immediately greeted with intense aromas of ripened fruit and sweet candy. You’ll also note the occasional pale green seed and a slightly reddish silverskin – both somewhat common in anaerobic process green – but overall the coffee is incredibly consistent and unbesmirched by the sours/stinkers we sometimes see in poorly processed coffees of this style.

“B7” is just an abbreviation for “Block 7,” a plot on Hacienda la Papaya (one of the highest on the farm) where this cultivar flourishes. It’s an engineered hybrid of Typica, Caturra, Pacas, and Bourbon… and from what I can tell it is completely unique to this farm. After harvesting, the coffee is held in oxygen-free sealed tanks for 5-10 days prior to drying in Juan Peña’s temperature controlled drying rooms for nearly a month.

This long, steady process is necessary to properly stabilize the coffee before hulling and shipping, and the system in place at La Papaya clearly works. The coffee has a nice consistent size sort and a pretty high density. Pair this with low, stable moisture and water activity readings… all good signs for stability on the shelf and consistency in the roaster.

Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Chris Kornman

With anaerobically processed natural coffees increasingly coming across my desk for evaluation I’m starting to feel comfortable with a general approach that usually returns good results. The combination of relatively high density and low moisture on this particular lot also gave me a fair amount of wiggle room to work with, as I knew the coffee could likely absorb a good deal of heat energy without creating distractions in the final cup.

Starting relatively hot with a closed airflow baffle, I let the coffee arrive at its turning point, about 1:30 into the roast as I opened the airflow halfway and bumped the burners up to about 70%. During mid-drying phase I increased the burner slightly – this was the first roast of the day and I didn’t want a cool drum to thwart my efforts. The rate of rise peaked, and I didn’t want to race through the Maillard reactions so I backed off a bit on the gas and noted color change just before 5 minutes of total roasting time.

I really wanted to try and stretch this stage a good amount, though I’ll confess I probably would’ve had slightly better success if I’d gone a little quicker earlier in the roast. Regardless, at just before 7 minutes of roasting, midway through color change, I dropped the burners to idle and opened the airflow fully. About a minute later the coffee began to slowly pop, taking almost another minute to fully roll into first crack. Despite a relatively low end temperature, the coffee spent a good amount of time during post-crack development. This is amplified by a slightly early beginning of the slow first crack, but is also likely fairly accurate, as the ColorTrack score was darker than intended about a 57 ground which is darker than everything we serve at the Crown other than our decaf and dark roast.

That said, the coffee’s character is strong, and full of fruity force, not to be deterred by a medium roast. It cupped true to profile and showed off lots of bubblegum sweetness, ripe ripe berry notes, and hints of florality with a syrupy body. I think it will be pretty hard to roast these flavors out of the coffee, but you’re welcome to try and let me know how it goes!

Aillio Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Evan Gilman

Unless otherwise noted, we use both the site and Artisan software to document our roasts on the Bullet. You can find our roast documentation below, by searching on, 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!

Much like Chris noted above, I have become more comfortable with roasting coffees with experimental processing methods – perhaps almost as comfortable as some producers have become with using these methods themselves. After roasting and tasting this coffee, it is apparent that Juan Peña must be quite comfortable indeed to have these incredible results. His coffee’s reputation precedes him, and I’m glad I finally get to roast a batch.

I did start with the standard 500g and d6 drum speed, but that’s where the similarities end. 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.

A touch before yellowing I increased fan speed to F2, followed by F3 just before first crack, and F4 at first crack proper. I did also reduce heat application back to P6 at 6 minutes, then P5 at first crack, in an effort to really slow this coffee down through the later portion of Maillard. This is perhaps the most manipulation I’ve done to a roast on the Bullet to date, but it worked out for the better.

My ratio of time spent in green/drying phase and Maillard phase were nearly equal, with a hefty 16% time spent in post-crack development, and 12.4% roast loss. The coffee threatened to be darker than I wanted just looking at the stats, but this coffee is just so phenomenal that any roastiness was barely perceptible, even with the abundance of chaff at the end of the roast cycle. The finishing temperature of 399F certainly helped in that regard.

This cup was perhaps the most overtly floral that I’ve had in the past year. Huge lilac and dried honeysuckle came through, backed up by wineyness like a Pinot Noir completely devoid of tannins. I was even fondly greeted by one of my favorite tasting notes, huckleberry, and a completely unexpected mangosteen floral note. The finish was sparkling clean, and this coffee came across more like purple drink than anything.

If you’re the adventurous type, I couldn’t recommend this coffee more thoroughly. Fans of the fruit unite.

You can find my profile for this roast online at:

Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Chris Kornman

We roasted this wild, chameleon of a coffee a few different ways on the Ikawa and decided to publish our two favorites here.

The first roast of the two, our Low Airflow profile, unsurprisingly emphasized body and sweetness over acidity in the cup. The result was really turning up the dial on the boozy blackberry flavors and that bubblegum-like sweetness I often identify with these limited oxygen fermented coffees. It was almost over the top, but not quite.

The second-favorite roast surprised us, as it turned out to be our hot and fast profile usually reserved for dense washed coffees from high elevations. Now, this is definitely a dense green, and certainly grown at some altitude, but it is very decidedly not washed. We were thrilled how the coffee handled the roast, however, emphasizing the juicy, brighter fruit elements and taming the booziness a little. Still very much a big coffee, the cup cooled pleasantly and had a berry-smoothie edge to it – slightly tart, slightly sweet, slightly creamy.

You can roast your own version by downloading the Ikawa profile here:
Roast 1: Crown 7m SRLowAF2
Roast 2: Crown Standard sr 1.0

Brew Analysis by Nate Lumpkin & Colin Cahill

This coffee came into our Tasting Room and labs with two other lots from Hacienda La Papaya—a natural typica and a washed typica. It is especially fun to brew up these coffees alongside each other to highlight the variations in flavor that are primarily linked to processing methods. This anaerobic natural coffee is fruity and floral and presents a bit more complexity than the other two delicious coffees from Hacienda La Papaya. Nate and Kaleb got the brew analysis rolling on this coffee, brewing it up on a Hario V60 conical brewer. Nate and Colin further examined it on the Saint Anthony Industries F70 flatbottom brewer and on the Bee House coffee dripper. The brews from the V60 and the F70 offer a particularly interesting contrast.

On the V60, this coffee brewed through at 4:02, with a TDS of 1.35 and an extraction of 18.83%. In the cup we tasted a bright and fruit forward flavor profile, with notes of red grapefruit, red plum, blood orange, Meyer lemon, honeysuckle, lilac, and brown sugar. This was a perfumed, floral, citrusy cup, with a mix of intense acids and dark sugars. This was a vibrant, complex, and clean brew. Shifting over to the F70 ceramic flatbottom brewer, this coffee brewed through at 3:15, with a TDS of 1.41 and an extraction of 19.81%. In this brew, we tasted significant sweetness and layers of milk chocolate, carob, and hazelnut, with a soft hint of green apple and malic acidity.

While it brewed up close to a minute faster than the V60 brew, the F70 yielded a greater TDS and extraction percentage, with a slightly heavier body and dominant chocolate notes. The conical brewer excelled at extracting layers of flavor with a cleaner body and mouthfeel. This is a dynamic coffee that can be brewed up to really target refined floral and fruit flavors or classic chocolate-y notes. This is a sweet, delightful coffee perfect for cerebral and experimental coffee drinkers.