Peru is the land of diversity. There are many ecosystems in Peru, and one can be found next to the other. Needless to say this impacts the range of flavours found in our cups. But to what extent? We’ve only started to grasp the very surface of understanding its true potential! One thing is sure, Peruvian coffees are all characterized by a deep sweetness.
Most of the coffee producers in Peru are small-scale farmers with an average of 2 to 3 hectares. Labour is divided within the family, shared among neighbours and the community, or acquired through hiring. The latter especially happens during the busy times of the harvest season. Most producer families have their own small processing plants at farm level. Here they they de-pulp, ferment, wash and dry so that they can sell the parchment coffee.
Coffee is either sold to buyers who come to the farm, or at nearby market places, where buyers’ have their agents or small offices. Approximately 30% of Peru’s coffee growers are members of cooperatives, and sell (part of) their coffees through these coöps.
Over the past decades, the cooperative movement has become quite strong in the country. And this has helped the national sector to meet growing demands for Organic and Fairtrade coffee, and build a reputation as a leader in certified Arabica coffee production (in bulk volumes). Accessing certified markets has helped members of cooperatives to become less vulnerable to volatile prices of the coffee market. And price premiums have contributed in improving infrastructure, processing and exporting, training members and creating social development projects.
At the same time, the infrastructure of the sector has become very focused on high volumes, and less on creating direct financial incentives for producers to invest in quality. Also, many producers lack access to technical support if they would want to shift their focus towards producing quality coffee. And there is a serious need for dialogues to understand what the specialty market requires.
So, not many people on the consumer side of the world had the opportunity to taste the unique flavor profiles that certain micro regions have to offer. There is plenty to learn and discover, and the diversity will struck you. If you’d be travelling from the North, to the Central and Southern regions of the country, you would feel like travelling through three complete different coffee origins.
Together with our partnering producers we are excited to highlight and share what each community, mountain flank or valley brings to our cups.