Crown Jewel Ecuador Saraguro Juan Peña Anaerobic Washed CJ1515 – 30034-1 – SPOT RCWHSE

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Flavor Profile Strawberry, raspberry, black tea, milk chocolate

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This is an experimental, anaerobically fermented and washed coffee from Loja, Ecuador, produced by Juan Peña on his farm, Hacienda La Papaya. 

The flavor profile is complex and lively, with notes of strawberry, black tea, milk chocolate, and lavender. 

Our roasters found the coffee overall to perform as expected, but caution the rate of rise may spike a little at first crack. 

When brewed, our barista team favored a delicate brew and recommended a flat-bottomed brewer, a moderate grind, and a slightly lower coffee to water ratio. We tried it as espresso and found dials that expressed both approachability and complexity. 

Taste Analysis by Chris Kornman 

A quick glance at the word cloud, generated from an inclusive combination of cupping and brewing flavor notes, and you’ll find our panelists had great agreement on a good number of central flavor profiles. We found strawberry and black tea notes working in harmony, with great support from grape, milk chocolate, and a host of other berry-related flavors including blackberry, strawberry, and raspberry. 

The coffee is complex and lively, with a lot of playful flavor to offer and a wide range of brewing applications. The extended anaerobic fermentation technique lends itself to a range of ripe fruit flavors that would traditionally be more frequently associated with dry processed or natural type coffees, those dried in the whole cherry without a formal fermentation stage. However, this coffee is pulped, then fermented and washed in the style of a traditional washed coffee… which just goes to prove how far and wide the range of flavor possibilities can be at the hands of a skilled grower and processor. 

We’re loving dialing this coffee on our pour-over bar at The Crown, and think that in many ways it carries the torch Juan Peña lit for us for the first time last season. 

Source Analysis by Chris Kornman with contributions from Mayra Orellana Powell and Phillip Smith 

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. 

Green Analysis by Chris Kornman 

An incredibly fragrant green coffee, with the hallmark “wow”-berry note of long, anaerobically fermented green. The coffee also has the distinctive coloration of sealed-tank-processed coffees, but notably without the occasional “stinker” or soured green bean that’s been overly impacted by fermentation. 

Unsurprisingly Juan Peña has delivered a precisely processed and prepared green coffee for us. With moderate moisture, and a fairly tight screen size distribution of 16-18, roasters should have little to worry about here. 

The density readings look somewhat average via free settling in our narrow graduated cylinder (reflecting the oblong shape of the Typica cultivar) but in the larger volume digital readout from the Sinar shows to be quite high. The takeaway is to treat this coffee as a high density bean in most scenarios, but to account for the bean shape particularly in smaller spaces (such as in an Ikawa roaster). Note that longberry type seeds are at slightly higher risk for tipping and scorching as well. I usually default to gentler heat application at charge and after first crack as a result. 

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 (where it 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. 

Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Doris Garrido 

Juan Pena did his amazing work again and I was proud of what I got on my first roast of this coffee: Blueberries, bubble gum, cinnamon, candy, clean, floral, freeze-dried strawberries, grape-flavored hard candy, guava jelly, Jolly ranchers, honey, Jammy, no acetic acid, strawberry, toasty toffee. Overall, clean!  

This anaerobic wash processes coffee on the sample roast tasted to me remarkably close to what I have in mind of a natural coffee – but is not. 

Started the roast at 415F with 80% gas and applied 100% before the turning point. I did lower the gas little by little to 30% before getting the color change. Then 50% air at 355F and 100% at 376.9F. The first crack started at 385F and I dropped the gas to 0% right after and let run for 1:09 sec and dropped the coffee at 395.7F. I hit FC with 15/60 seconds on the rate of rise, but the coffee wanted to fly right away, the gas on 0% at that moment helped me stabilize the temperature and finish the roast. Other than that, this coffee roasted simply fine and tasted even better! 

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 428F preheating, P6 power, F2 fan, and d6 drum speed. Take a look at our roast profiles below, as they are constantly changing! 

Anaerobic coffees are some of the most divisive of the bunch, and this one is apparently no stranger to controversy. If you’ve ever wondered what an unapologetic strawberry, a confident guava, or a devil-may-care blackberry tasted like, this one just might be your huckleberry.  

My 437F charge temperature served to push this coffee along in the start, but I know how touchy some anaerobically processed and natural coffees can be, so I reduced from P9 to P8 at Turning Point, then further to P7 at peak RoR. I also increased fan speed to F3 at this point and let the roast ride out for a while on a gentle downward slope through Yellowing and into Maillard. At 360F / 6:35 I noted that my RoR didn’t exactly spike, but decided not to continue its movement downwards, and increased fan speed to F4. This continued trending horizontally, and I reduced heat application to P6 at 380F, just before First Crack, then hit F5 shortly afterwards. For good measure, I reduced heat application again to P5 through post-crack development to keep this roast from taking off at the last moment.  

I do like to take fruity coffees a little deeper into roast to eke out some chocolate notes, and that’s just what I did here. At 402F / 9:58 I dropped the roast for 45% of the time spent in green/drying phase, 38% in Maillard, and 15% in post-crack development. While some of the roasty notes I anticipated did come through, our notes were very firmly in the fruity arena. This coffee is bananas. Strawberry candy, guava, and tropical fruit pastries were some of the more fitting notes, but to be honest I kept getting flavor after flavor coming back to this cup.  

If you’re a fan of fruity coffees, you’re going to love this one. It’s still very early, but this may be one of the fruitiest coffees of the year! Okay, I can’t promise that.. But it will satisfy your fruit tooth, guaranteed. 

Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Isabella Vitaliano  

Our current Ikawa practice compares two sample roast profiles, originally designed for different densities of green coffee. The two roasts differ slightly in total length, charge temperature, and time spent between color change in first crack. You can learn more about the profiles here. 

This is our second year purchasing coffee from Juan Pena who runs a very notable farm in Ecuador. The operation is held at a high standard and includes a laboratory that experiments with quality control by developing fertilizer, sensors on harvest and indoor drying rooms. It feels parallel to our own lab and café facility in that the research conducted is also shared with its adjacent community. It is always exciting to see farms that have produced Crown Jewels come through our lab again. Showcasing a producer’s rigor and quality year after year is no easy feat. With the help of Doris, we can break down what roast makes this anerobic coffee from Juan Pena’s legacy farm shine! 

For our light density roast we got notes of blackberry, pineapple, raw sugar and vanilla. Doris noticed some acetic notes, and we both found this cup to have a great tart acidity and a fuller and bolder body. The high density roast nurtured notes of acai, fruit juice, mango, raw sugar and some unripe fruit. The intensity was a little lower on this one but still had a nice acidity with sweet berry notes. Overall milder and cleaner.  

I preferred the bolder cup of the light density roast as the pineapple acidity kept me going back for more. This is a loud and bold version of this coffee that can lean towards overripe fruit and for that reason, Doris preferred the cleaner and milder version of this coffee. Both of our recent additions from Saraguro Juan Pena brought some divisive opinions on both analyses and I think that is a testament to the versatility and quality these coffees can offer us.  

You can roast your own by linking to our profiles in the Ikawa Pro app here: 

Roast 1: Low Density Sample Roast 

Roast 2: High Density Sample Roast   

Brew Analysis by Joshua Wismans 

Back in 2012, I had the pleasure of traveling to Ecuador and distinctly remember noting an exceptional coffee on the cupping table. The coffee was a washed process from a farm called La Papaya, grown by a farmer named Juan Pena. 10 years later, I find myself at Royal Coffee, reunited with Juan Pena’s coffee. In the immortal words of Mark Borchardt, “Sometimes life’s pretty cool like that”. 

This anaerobic washed coffee is bursting with flavor. Our initial brew used our “standard” recipe of 1:15.79 coffee to water ratio, ground moderately fine and brewed using a Beehouse brewer. This yielded a a TDS 1.59, and while there was nice berry and black tea notes, there was a bit of an edge to the profile.  Still utilizing the Beehouse, lowered our dose and coarsened our grind slightly to help bring down our TDS and extraction percentages. This second brew softened some of the black tea edge to the first brew but was still missing a bit of roundness to the mouthfeel. 

To help round out the cup we switched to a flat-bottomed brewer but kept our grind setting the same. We started back over with the original coffee to water ratio of 1:15.79, and ultimately came up with a delicious cup that showed notes of plum, grape, milk chocolate, and lemongrass. However, we were still intrigued and ultimately sold on a more delicate brew. Our final recipe that we all loved used a 1:16.67 ratio with a moderate grind size. This gave us a TDS of 1.4, with an extraction percentage of 20.14%. The brew sang with notes grapefruit, rose, and dark chocolate. 

We recommend a flat-bottomed brewer, a moderate grind, and a slightly lower coffee to water ratio.  

Espresso Analysis by MJ Smith  

There comes a time in every barista’s journey where you get super attached to coffee that you love. There also comes the time when that coffee is no longer in season and you have to say a tearful goodbye to said favorite. That was me last year when we had this anaerobic washed coffee on our pour-over bar… With its juicy, almost fruit-punch like flavor and balanced, completely sippable body, I was not ready to give it up! But thank the stars, it’s back back back again! Juan Pena’s reputation precedes him, in that when you see his name attached to a coffee, you KNOW it’s going to be delicious, and this coffee is no exception. While we’re going to be featuring this coffee on our pour-over bar again this year, I’m very excited to try it out on espresso and see what wild flavors come out of it when a little extra pressure is applied. Will it be a diamond, or will it be rough? Come with me and let’s find out! 

Recipe 1: 

Dose: 18.5, Yield: 38.4, Time: 31sec 

The coffee I’m using for this analysis is 14 days off-roast, but for my first recipe, I decided to start with a lower dose of 18.5g and a yield of 38g. This resulted in a shot that was a little on the tart and bitter side, with notes of watermelon candy, dark chocolate, baking spice, and lavender. Initially, I wasn’t a huge fan of this shot because of those tart and bitter notes, but the longer it sat on my palate, the more I started to enjoy it. 

Recipe 2: 

Dose: 18.9, Yield: 38.2, Time: 31sec 

For my second recipe, in attempt to round it out a bit, I increased my dose to 18.9, but kept my yield and time the same. I shared this shot with some of the crew and we all unanimously enjoyed it. I picked up notes of cherry cola, pecan pie, gingerbread, and sage. The rest of the crew noticed flavors of plum, blackberry, green olive, and “expensive chocolate.” 

Recipe 3: 

Dose: 20g, Yield: 39.5, Time 31sec 

For recipe number 3, I jacked the dose up to 20g and raised my yield to 39.5, but kept the time at 31 seconds. I really enjoyed this shot as well! With notes of tart berry, cacao, honey, pumpkin, and lemongrass, I feel like this recipe would be perfect for a milk-based drink such as a cortado or cappuccino. 

Overall, I think I enjoyed the 19g recipe the best. In my opinion, it brought out the widest range of complex flavor notes, while still being a relatable espresso that non-connoisseurs could enjoy. I think this coffee would work well on espresso bar, and appease both espresso lovers and latte sippers alike. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!