About the coffee
This lot is a traditional washed process of Juan’s Typica, producing a very clear representation of the varietal character. The coffee was dried with careful control of temperature and humidity, by using fans and cooling systems under the plastic parabolic driers. This careful control, from fertilisation and picking, to fermentation and drying produces a complex and delicate cup, with crisp white florals followed by citrus character in the cup, balanced by a cocoa dryness in the finish.
Jasmine, Lemon and Cocoa
We’re excited to continue our collaboration with Juan Peña, the owner of Hacienda La Papaya. In previous years we have purchased small experimental lots and shared them with a small number of clients, so we are looking forward to expanding our collaboration this year, and sharing Juan’s excellent work with a wider audience. The farm is located just outside the town of Saraguro, in the Lojo region of Southern Ecuador. A former producer of roses, Juan began to experiment with coffee in 2010 after his rose crop was almost completely wiped out by disease. Over the intervening years he has thrown himself into the pursuit of high quality coffee, with a meticulous and scientific approach. He has a well-organised and functioning nursery, and experimental plots with trees spaced a few metres apart, in order to experiment with different fertilisation procedures and examine the results. Juan also experiments heavily with post-harvest processing, with pre-fermented washed coffees, carefully controlled natural coffees, and experimental processes such as carbonic maceration and anaerobic fermentations. This meticulous and experimental approach means lots of delicious coffee with varying flavour profiles and expressions, mainly of the Typical varietal. Juan also has plots of Sidra, a native Ecuadorian varietal, and has recently planted a few new plots of Geisha, which should produce their first full harvest soon.
The washed process involves completely removing both the cherry and the mucilage from the outside of the parchment with the use of friction, fermentation and water. After being harvested, the coffee cherry is then sliced open by either a metal or a sharp plastic blade. The two seeds (also known as beans) are pushed out of the cherry, which leaves the seed with mucilage as their outermost layer. It is essential in the washed process that all mucilage is removed from the seed which leaves only the flavor that developed in the cell structure of the seed prior to processing.
About La Cabra
A focus on raw material
If we don’t feel that a coffee suits our style or what we like to present, we simply won’t buy it. Sometimes this leads to issues in green buying; we have to pay very close attention, to a level of green quality that will support this approach, and to how this will develop over the life of a coffee. We are required to focus heavily on the freshness of coffee, both green and roasted, to avoid introducing taints into our cups. We always use clean and fresh water, of an ideal mineral content to present the coffee in its best possible light. Once we have the correct roasting profile, water, and coffee age, the act of brewing is much more simple. A wide variance in brewing parameters can still produce delicious and transparent cups. It is also important to note that this is not always the most consistent approach. The coffee is laid completely bare, so any flaw with the raw material is clearly on show. We could often develop some coffees slightly more, to make them more approachable or easy to work with, but wavering from our philosophy like this would compromise our commitment to complete transparency in coffee.Read more