Hacienda La Papaya - Jaime Cartuche COE 17
Meet the Producer | Coffee enthusiasts and barista competitors will likely need no introduction to at least one of the names on this remarkable black label release. Hacienda La Papaya is a renown farm in the Loja Province of Ecuador, famed for its coffees as well as for its owner, Juan Peña. Together, they are responsible for many of the innovative processes coming out of Ecuador today, as well as for bringing Ecuadorian coffee to the competition stage. Today's producer, Jaime Cartuche, has been employed and mentored by Juan Peña for over twelve years, and he currently works as the team leader for coffee processing at Hacienda La Papaya. A few years ago, with Juan's help, Jaime was able to purchase three acres of nearby land on which to manage his own farm, and this lot (which we purchased in its entirety!) comes from his third year of harvest. Today, Jaime works closely with his wife, Hilda, and three of his six kids (Erika, Darwin, and Boris) to operate the farm, and he remains eager to learn more about coffee and processing so that he can one day have "the best coffee in the region." Watch out, Juan Peña - your Padawan is off to a pretty promising start!
Trust the Process | Freshly harvested cherries are placed in spent rum barrels to ferment for five days in a closed, anaerobic environment. During this time, the coffee cherries are basically micro-managed, being kept in dark, temperature- and humidity-controlled rooms to to promote the movement of microorganisms and absorption of the aromas and flavors of the oak barrel in which they are kept. Afterward, the whole cherries spend 28-30 days in drying rooms, until optimal moisture content is achieved.
Take a Sip | So many descriptors were used as we discussed this coffee around the cupping table, it honestly got a little dizzying. Words like: intense, complex, vibrant, juicy, fruity, and beautiful, were all part of the conversation. Whew! It shouldn't be surprising, then, that the tasting notes get a little complicated (But, try to stay with us! It's a lovely journey.) When hot, this coffee shows off its darker side. It transitions quickly from flavors like pineapple and mixed gummy bears to those which are more saturated and dense and ripe, reminding us of raspberry liqueur, purple grapes, and red wine. At a pleasantly warm temperature, the cup shifts to something fresh, complex, and more acidic, with loads of fleshy yellow fruit notes, pineapple, and white wine. As the coffee cools, that now-vibrant acidity reminds us of fresh citrus, and the cup as a whole is boozy and complex. That gummy bear note is back for an encore, but this time it almost reminds us of the "drunken gummy bears" we once made in college - juicy, boozy, and delicious.
Origin | Saraguro, Loja, Ecuador
Producer | Jaime Cartuche
Farm | Hacienda La Papaya
Process | Anaerobic Natural
Variety | Typica
Elevation | 1800 masl