Angel Arturo Peñarreta Romero
Arturo is not a farmer in the sense that he has his own plantation, as Arturo has never had the amount of capital required to start his own farm. However, he has worked on plantations over the past 4 decades, helping farmers grow their products organically and maintaining their land. Most recently, Arturo worked for the local government of Zaruma, Ecuador. For the government, he was the director of the local greenhouse project, where he and his team would plant coffee seeds, grow them for 4-6 months, then donate them to farmers all throughout El Oro, Ecuador.
Shane met Arturo during the summer of 2016, while Arturo was still working at the greenhouse. This helped the two greatly, as Arturo had connections with all of the farmers in the region! By utilizing these farmers, we were able to start importing coffee.
Now, Arturo no longer works with the government, he has turned his attention full time to Z Beans Coffee and Z Beans Chocolate.
Arturo attends different coffee conferences throughout Ecuador each year. At the conferences, he has the ability to meet and connect with new farmers in hopes that we may be able to visit their plantation and purchase their coffees in the summer.
Chocolate Factory Manager
Arturo plays a vital role in the chocolate business as well. With the coffee and chocolate industry overlapping a great deal in Ecuador, Arturo has the connections to purchase quality chocolate and transport it to our processing facility in Zaruma. Once there, Arturo oversees each step of the chocolate making process.
Meeting and Connecting with New Farmers: Arturo attends different coffee conferences throughout Ecuador each year. At the conferences, he has the ability to meet and connect with new farmers in hopes that we may be able to visit their plantation and purchase their coffees in the summer.
Quality Control Inspections: Before we purchase coffees in the summer, all farmers are required to send a small sample of green coffee beans to Arturo. When Arturo receives the sample, he grades the green coffee beans, roasts them, and cups them. After his inspection is complete, he will pass the report on to Shane, and together, they decide whether or not to purchase coffee from a particular farmer. To this day, Z Beans has purchased coffee from every farmer who has sent in a sample.
Once we have purchased the coffee, Arturo continues his quality control analysis. Once we begin processing it, Arturo will assess the humidity levels for each farmer’s coffee, ensuring that the range is between 10-12 percent. He will also assess the quality of the green coffee beans. Are there defects? Are there signs of broca or roya? With years of experience, Arturo knows what it takes to produce a quality cup of coffee.
Our Mentor: Every time we have gone to Ecuador, we have stayed at Arturo’s house with him, his wife (Anita), and his daughter (Roseangela). We eat with them, partake in festivals with them, enjoy Ecuador with them. While Arturo has shown a great deal of trust in us over the years, we have done the same with him. When we are in Ecuador, we trust his decision making. In doing so, we are able to enjoy Ecuador to the fullest.
Arturo has taught us just about everything we know about coffee. His knowledge about the industry is unmatched, and from the very beginning - he has been an open book. To say we are forever grateful for him, would be an understatement. With Arturo by our side, we know - no problem is too difficult, no question can’t be answered, and no dream is too big.