Hacienda La Papaya Ecuador Juan Pena Coffee


This combination of heirloom genetics and meticulous processing makes for a smooth and elegant cup of coffee. We taste Strawberry, Apple, Lemonade, and Moscato.

*We recommend the medium roast.

Hacienda La Papaya Ecuador hacienda la papaya natural. Ecuador Coffee. Juan Pena Coffee.

Hacienda la Papaya: Funky, Fruity, Fun

This coffee starts with sweet flavors like red berries, apple, and plum. In addition, it’s all swimming in a silky body. There’s a citrusy and malic acidity with a tropical crescendo. Juan Pena’s famous attention to detail pays off.

This heirloom varietal has a long finish that’s both sweet and wine-like. Moscato, almonds and brown sugar. Another key aspect, the mouthfeel is silky and smooth. Velvety, tea-like, and present to the end. Indeed, a nearly perfect structure for this palate.

As a result, this coffee can be dialed in for different palates on different brewers. It is a fun bean for an adventurous coffee drinker to tinker with. Conical pour-over brews were vibrant and clean. Bright and silky. Flat-bottomed filters offered deep richness and a syrupy feel. Specifically offering more depth and less length.

Espresso brews of the medium roast taste like strawberries dipped in chocolate sauce. Cold drip brews were jammy, complex, and heavy on the tongue.

In conclusion, this natural process coffee is funky and versatile. Brew it any way you like. Regardless how you do, it’s an absolute snack.

About Juan Pena Coffee

Juan Peña, hacienda la papaya ecuador coffee owner and employee

Certainly, specialty coffee producer Juan Pena is rocketing to the top of his field. His ability to experiment with coffee to create reliable and replicable quality year after year is masterful. We’re excited to have this popular coffee back on the shelves for summer. We’ve been cold brewing it non-stop!

Awards and Accolades

Juan Peña is likely a familiar name to anyone who’s been paying attention to recent US Barista Championships and Sprudgie Awards. Anyone interested in Ecuadorian coffees will know him well for his work over the last decade perfecting exciting and new methods of processing at his farm.

After 3 consecutive years winning Notable Producer at the Sprudgie Awards, we had high expectations for this rare bean and its certainly living up to the hype.


Education and Experience

Juan’s degree in agronomy from University of Cuenca led him to start farming coffee in 2009. His work on the farm is rigorously scientific. Originally he was focused on long stem roses. He grew them commercially for the international market. That all changed when severe weather destroyed his rose bushes.

Eventually he pivoted completely to coffee. His experience as a flower farmer helps him innovate. Each of the 35,000 coffee trees at the farm has its own specialty designed drip irrigation set up. Because of this method and the surrounding climate, cherries on a single plant can vary in ripeness. Consequently, pickers have to be skillful and diligent.

Undeniably, the benefit of these methods is clear and worth the extra effort. However, these techniques would likely never be in use if not for Juan’s unique perspective and ingenuity.

His farm features 28 acres just a few miles from the Andes with prime climates at high elevations. Cuenca’s University has an agreement with the farm that promotes new techniques in fertilizer science, drying systems, and harvest controls.

His “garden of inputs” is an experimental collection of coffee trees. He plants them several yards apart and labels them with the fertilizer inputs they’re given. Significantly, this allows him to track the impact of the nutrients on growth and cherry development.

About the Natural Processing


This naturally processed coffee micro-lot is so well done. It goes through no intentional fermentation. Only natural drying  in controlled rooms exclusive to the farm.


Firstly, the cherries are expertly picked and sorted by a small team of well-trained farmers. Secondly, they dry the cherries. Juan carefully controls the drying process in specially designed climate controlled rooms. This lasts for 3-4 weeks.

Typica coffees were not popular in Central America until Juan started farming them in Ecuador.

The dedication to science practiced at the farm is key. High quality comes from refined controls and documentation. Without a doubt the coffee processing that takes place here is special. With that in mind, the attention to genetic quality is just as important.

Hacienda La Papaya: Community Focused

The farm is a socially responsible business that benefits the community directly.

  • 7 permanent employees and 40 additional seasonal coffee production employees.
  • The only formal employment in the zone. This means they receive social security.
  • 80% of the employees are women.
  • Juan provides neighbors and farm workers with seedlings and access to his nursery and micro mill. This is so they can develop their own farm plots.

Ecuador Coffee

Coffee beans from Ecuador demand a premium. The country has used the U.S. dollar for its official currency since 2000. In turn, this drives up the cost of labor. However, we see this as a positive. It means that farmers are being paid much higher than fair trade minimums for their goods.

Mostly the U.S. imports bananas, sea food, and cut flowers. When farmers decide to grow coffee here, it’s because it’s going to be a high-quality crop worth paying a high price for.

Saraguro, where this coffee is grown sits at 2700 masl! The Saraguro people are indigenous and make up a large part of the population. They are known for their traditional black hats and shawls that feature white spots.

Ecuador literally means “equator” in Spanish. It’s geography includes the Galapagos Islands. It is one of the most megadiverse countries in the world. It has the most biodiversity power square mile out of all the countries in the world!

Coffee from this country is special. The terroir features many active volcanoes. Although they are mostly in the north. High elevations, cloud forests, biodiversity, and its location on the equator are the perfect recipe for some of the best coffees in the world.