LA PAPAYA - ECUADOR
Altitude: 2000 m
Cup: Raspberry, Chocolate, Cherry
Hacienda La Papaya is the farm and estate owned and operated by Juan Peña, who is perhaps Ecuador's most famous emerging specialty-coffee farmer.Juan is a multigeneration 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 labeled with the fertilizer inputs they're given, to track the impact of the nutrients on growth and cherry development.
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 neighbors and farm workers space in his nursery, along with seedlings, so that they can develop plots of their own.