Nectarine, Rum Cake, Oak

if you're on the hunt for a knockout brew, this is your bag. It comes from one of Ecuador's most renowned producer's, Juan Pena of Hacienda La Papaya. La Papaya is tucked into the Loja region at an elevation topping 2,000 meters. For this lot, Pena hand-selected Typica cherries and processed them via one of the coolest methods in the game: oak barrel fermentation. What does that mean? It means the cherries sat in oak staves for five ferment-heavy days. When they emerged, they went straight to raised beds for thirty more days of dry (natural) processed finishing. That kind of processing care is rare, and the results are evident in the cup.

Saturated is the word for this coffee. You know the yellows and blues in Van Gogh's "Starry Night," tones so vibrant they deserve their own place on the color wheel? That's how the flavors present themselves. The aroma is smacks of strawberry ice cream, and brewed as pour over, the fragrance atomizes your kitchen. In the cup, the big note is nectarine, characterized by telltale acidity and stone fruit sweetness. Rum cake trots behind the fruit, and finally, in ode to processing, a flash of oak marks the finish. To be clear, the oak in this cup isn't the Axe Bodyspray overlay you catch in California Chardonnays. Instead, it's the delicate variety served in White Burgundys. The flavors swell like a string section on the cool, and the final sips pack a Tyson punch.

The summary: this is one of those drop what you're doing and brew situations. If you want to try a coffee from Ecuador—or if you're just into really really good cups—get yourself a bag. You won't be disappointed.

  • Region - Loja
  • Farm - Hacienda La Papaya
  • Producer - Juan Pena
  • Processing - Oak Barrel Fermentation
  • Varietal - Typica
  • Altitude - 2,000 MASL

Best for:

  • Pour Over
  • French Press
  • Drip Machine
  • Aeropress