Lively tropical fruit and tea-like body in our first release from Peru, grown by Esther Fernandez in Cajamarca.
- Mango, Orange, Black Tea
- Producer: Esther Fernandez
- Region: Cajamarca
- Altitude: 1900 masl
- Varietal: Catimor
- Process: Washed
- Harvest: June 2020
- Optimal brew beyond: Filter 7 days | Espresso 21 days.
- RRP for 250 g: 159 kr.
- RRP for 1 kg: 600 kr.
About the coffee:
Peru is a rather interesting coffee growing country. In the wider coffee market it is known for very low-price certified coffee, such as Organic, Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance. It is a rather new player in the specialty market; the very system that allows Peru to produce certified coffees so cheaply also makes it rather unsuited to the needs of the modern specialty coffee market. Peru is dominated by cooperatives, pooling coffees together from thousands of rural smallholders in order to create low cost certified lots. Many work in the speciality market, but produce large volumes of coffee in the lower end of specialty, in the 80-84 point range. The issue with this from a specialty point of view is that traceability is lost, along with the ability to create relationships with individual producers based on quality. If the same cooperative price is available based on physical quality of coffee, rather than cup quality, then there is also no financial incentive to create high-quality separated lots. However, this is beginning to change, and due to the work of several dedicated groups, the incredible quality potential of Peru is starting to be realised through intensive work with talented individuals like Esther Fernandez.
Esther Fernandez grew up on a coffee farm, so has known coffee agriculture all her life. It was not an easy childhood, Esther often had to miss school in order to work, helping the family business to put enough food on the table. She was engaged by the time she was 17, and inherited the family farm when she was only 25. She has since become divorced, and has two grown-up children. She is particularly proud of her independence both in her business and personal life, relishing the nickname her neighbours have given her, Doña Fernandez. Esther is so proud of this name that she also uses it for her farm. She is slowly renovating the land, having built her house here, and begun raising cattle and renewing the coffee plant stock. The high altitude, alongside cool conditions and a very low-chemical and bio-diverse approach in the field, leads to a very high quality of raw material. Esther’s dedication of course also plays a part here, and this continues into processing, using a rather rudimental set of tools in order to carefully unveil the character of her coffees without exposing ferment character in the cup. Esther has been a member of Coopagro since 2019, and they have helped her to recognise the quality of her work and continue to improve. Maintaining separation of small lots like Esther’s is not so popular here in rural northern Peru, so the work of Coopagro and our partners at Belco is very important in order to create a continuing incentive to produce quality coffees.
The quality of Esther’s work in the field means that only very minimal influence is required from fermentation in order to create a balanced and flavourful cup, here reminding us of fresh and crisp tropical fruit with a delicate tea-like character. One of the finest coffees we have tasted from Peru in the years we have been watching this origin.