Consistent sourcing, focused innovation, and excellent decaffeination combine to bring sweetness, spice, and a little something nice to this cup of Peruvian Coffee. Coffees from Peru’s northern region of Peru often feature smooth sweetness, and this coffee delivers those regional qualities in loads.
We first offered Decaf Cajamarca, Peru from Lima Coffee in 2018. Before that, we also offered a similar caffeinated lot in late 2017/early 2018. Now, we again offer the decaffeinated version. This time around, Café Imports sent the coffee to the decaffeination facility in Cauca, Colombia that employs Ethyl Acetate decaffeination. The solvent is derived from locally grown sugarcane and proves to be our preferred method of decaffeination.
Café Imports, our importing partner, has foreseen the potential of Peru – specifically the northern region of Cajamarca. Peiro Cristani, Café Imports Senior Green Buyer, and Rony Lavan of Lima Coffee Exporting have been working with farmers to improve quality protocols and establish a micro-lot program in Cajamarca. With this investment and support, they acheived some dramatic quality improvements. Specifically, dominating the first Cup of Excellence (COE) in Peru with coffees from Cajamarca.
Around 400 smallholder farms in Cajamarca, Peru contribute to this decaf coffee. They benefit from the investment and development provided by Café Imports and Lima Coffee. A significant change in the process is incentivizing the delivery of cherry to a mill. Usually, farmers in Peru dry their coffee at the farm. Encouraging the farmers to deliver cherry allows the mill to manage the drying and sorting of the harvest. As a result, the overall quality improves. This coffee testifies to the innovation and collaboration that is a result of Café Imports’ work in Cajamarca.
Peruvian coffee is evolving. When reflecting on the source of this quality-evolution a few words come to mind: awareness, innovation and collaboration. Quality improvements like picking, sorting and better milling protocol never stick if farmers do not embrace them and/or lack the support of dedicated collaborators. It might be surprising to some, but most farmers aren’t aware of the growing and evolving specialty coffee market around the world. Loosely defined, specialty coffee is any coffee that scores 84+ points using an SCA cupping form by a certified Q-grader.
Awareness of this market is just the beginning, usually requiring a collaborator to connect to the market and help establish the improvements that garner better quality and higher prices. Innovation must be connected to investment to occur. This can be human investment, like consultation and training, or a financial investment in materials to establish the project, or pre-financing to support better practices, like ripe picking.
Geography has contributed to the regional personality and the taste characteristics of the coffee grown in Nariño. The steep mountains and deep canyons of the Andes mountain range move through this region. The section that moves through Nariño is know for its beauty and extremes. The steep, craggy mountains and canyons provided both a natural barrier for the Incan Empire from invaders from the north and also influenced the distinct flavor of coffee grown in this region.
Nariño is located in southwest of Colombia along the border with Ecuador. In the south of Colombia, the Andes are know as the Nudo de Los Pastos. The mountains have provided seclusion to Nariño that has allowed the cultures of the region to maintain their heritage and customs, such as the old language, Quiche, and a unique wood crafting style.
The geography of this region also contributes to the unique coffee taste of Nariño. To begin with, Nariño is near the equator, which provides predictable and intense sunlight. The mountains of Nariño are also very high and steep. This altitude would prevent some growing regions from producing coffee due to freezing, but Nariño is able to prevent freezing due to the thermal transitions that occur in the evenings. During the day the sun is able to reach deep into the mountains due to the latitude. The craggy mountains and canyons absorb the sun’s heat throughout the day. In the evening, the heat, stored up in valley below, rises to prevent freezing. This unique dynamic, high altitudes, and a temperature range that supports slow and even development encourages higher sugar content development and sweet acidity.
Team taste notes: orange cream, juicy body, dark chocolate, nutty, brown sugar, caramel, baking spice
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