Strawberry / Almond / Sauvignon Blanc
Saraguro, Southern Ecuador
Juan Peña is a very rare example of a completely unique coffee producer. His story and his coffee are like none other. Rather than continuing in a multi-generation path to coffee farming, Juan’s coffee story began just six years ago in an area virtually devoid of coffee trees. His family’s hacienda had been producing long- stemmed roses for years, when a massive off-season rainstorm destroyed the plants, causing him to replant the property with Typica, one of the two original cultivated coffee varieties. Applying unique practices he developed in his years producing ornamental flowers, Juan individually fertilizes each plant through a complicated irrigation system, causing plants to act as if they are always in peak production. This strain creates an incredibly dynamic and complex cup, unlike any other coffee in the world.
We have been able to visit Hacienda La Papaya the past two harvests. Last year, we assisted in experiments that will affect the current harvest, and he has granted us special access to his top lots. This is the third year we have carried this farm’s first harvest micro-lot.
Juan Peña starts off with flavors of fresh strawberry, supported by a soft almond paste note. The cup further develops flavors of brighter white wine with subtle buttery tones, similar to sauvignon blanc. This coffee is unlike any other, and is an experience you must treat yourself to. It is the perfect coffee to remind ourselves that sometimes starting over can lead to beautiful things.