Ecuador Hacienda La Papaya Filter Coffee

$ 25.00

Out of stock

Juicy blueberry & ripe strawberry. Highlights of mango, ripe pear & toffee sweetness.

Farm: Hacienda La Papaya
Producer: Juan Peña
Region: Saraguro, Loja
Variety: Typica
Process: Natural
Altitude: 2,100 masl

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Hacienda La Papaya is the farm and estate owned and operated by Juan Peña, who is perhaps Ecuador’s most famous emerging specialty-coffee producer. Juan is a multi-generation farmer, but he’s relatively new to coffee: A former long-stem-rose producer, he started experimenting with coffee plants in about 2010, after disastrous weather wiped out his flower fields. Turning his energy entirely to coffee, he has worked to develop as healthy, hardy, and horticulturally intentional a farm as possible, with a very well-nurtured plant nursery and a “garden of inputs” on the property. The “inputs garden” is interesting and shows Juan’s dedication to science and methodical experimentation: He has coffee trees planted several yards apart and labelled with the fertilizer inputs they’re given, to track the impact of the nutrients on growth and cherry development. By taking Brix readings of the cherries, Juan can take an average of the sugar levels in the cherries. The difference in perfectly ripe, overripe, and green cherries is significant, and also noticeable when biting into them. Juan grows several varieties on this land and is actively engaged with processing experiments as well. His farming is meticulous, scientific, curious, and giving: He provides neighbours and farm workers space in his nursery, along with seedlings, so that they can develop plots of their own.

This lot of coffee is 100% typica, an old variety known for its sweetness and body but unpopular with farmers because of its low yield. Despite its fantastic cup characteristics, it’s very rare to find a 100% typica lot. An original heirloom variety originally from Ethiopia, and probably one of the most important varieties of coffee ever. Juan produces a lot of typica lots, and they are exceptionally nuanced and expressive.

Winner of the 2019 Sprudgie award for Most Notable Coffee Producer and used by World Barista Championship competitors, we are pleased to welcome Hacienda La Papaya to our coffee line up. Available in limited whole bean batches and by the cup in select cafe locations.

Ecuador is tiny compared to its big coffee-growing neighbours (Brazil, Peru and Colombia) which is part of the reason we see so few Ecuadorian coffees in our market. For a small country, Ecuador has an impressive amount of diversity – in climate, in varieties, and in farms and farming practices.

Coffee was introduced in Ecuador early in the nineteenth century, and remained one of Ecuador’s top export crops through the 1970s. Coffee didn’t become a major commercial venture in Ecuador until the late 1920s, when the cacao industry was threatened by disease—even then, coffee has largely remained an afterthought to the national economy, and production dropped greatly during the price crises of the 1990s and in the early 2000s.

Coffee production in Ecuador is declining because factors including low productivity from farms per hectare on average is 400kg which is a third of neighbouring countries. The dollarisation to give up its local currency and adopt the US dollar which has a knock-on effect on producing communities – and in particular has prompted many to leave the farm behind. Emigration because of Ecuador’s financial struggles, younger generations have left the farms and often abroad leaving the older generation to tend the farms with an average age of a coffee producer being 60 years old. High productions costs due to the dollarisation with price of goods appreciating faster being tied to strength of US economy and with that, wages also need to increase. About half a million people depend on coffee for their livelihood in Ecuador, which is about 1 out of every 8 farmers and their families. An unbearable poverty is the reality for small coffee farmers and has led to the abandonment of many coffee plantations.

The specialty boom from the first decade of the 2000s happening in neighbouring Colombia and Peru inspired entrepreneurial Ecuadorian coffee producers to invest in good Arabica varieties, improved practices and advanced marketing strategies. Increasingly, single-farm, single-variety, and innovating processing lots are finding their way to forward-thinking mills, exporters, importers, and roasters. We look forward to seeing more delicious coffees coming from this amazing small country.