Selections from Hacienda la Papaya have been used by US barista and roasting competitors with multiple 1st, second and 3rd place finishes! Of course we were super grateful in 2021 for the chance to taste a selection from Juan Peña’s farm, Hacienda la Papaya, and were delighted to subsequently share a naturally processed typica as our first offering. Last year we were able to share a second selection, a carbonic maceration processed typica lot.
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.
Juan Peña is also working to create opportunity for others. Hacienda la Papaya employs 7 permanent workers. During the 4 months harvest, they hire up to 40 additional workers. It’s a source of formal employment, because those who work on the farm have social security. It’s the only business that provides formal employment in the zone. All of the workers are from the community. Eighty percent are women, and most workers have families with kids. Also, during the months of school vacation, high school students work on the farm as well because it coincides with the months of harvest. They’ve been hiring these students seasonally for 7 years now, and its been a great success.
We are happy to have a strong business relationship with Juan Peña, and his coffee exporting business Cafexporto.