About the coffee
Juan Peña 120hrs
This lot is part of a small experiment we have purchased from Juan this year. Ripe Typica cherries from La Papaya were split into two portions and sealed in plastic tanks to ferment under anaerobic condition. They were then laid out on raised beds to dry under exacting conditions, with careful control of temperature and humidity accomplished by using fans and cooling systems under the plastic parabolic driers. The difference between these two lots is the time spent sealed in anaerobic conditions in the plastic tanks. This lot has spent 120 hours fermenting in tank, leading to a typical juicy sweet anaerobic character, joined by ripe berry notes and wild tropical fruit richness.
Cherry, Jasmine and Melon
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.
|Process||120 hr Anaerobic|
The coffee is first pulped mechanically, removing most of the fruit, as with a white honey process. The parchment coffee and almost gel-like mucilage are then packed tightly into a small fermentation tank, and sealed with almost no oxygen present. As the fermentation starts to occur, carbon dioxide is produced, creating a completely anaerobic environment, and also high pressure within the tank. This affects coffee flavour in two ways. An anaerobic environment favours a very different set of fermenting bacteria and yeast, leading to a dominant lacto-fermentation. The pressure also forces coffee juices into the seed itself, adding more fermentable sugars to continue the process. The coffee is then dried with the mucilage still attached, as with a honey processed coffee. All of this adds layers of complexity to the final cup.
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