Eli Espinoza owns a 4 hectares of land in the village of Las Pirias, Chirinos. Elí’s parcels of land are spread across the village, some planted mostly with Typica, others with Caturra and Bourbon. CO
Eli came to the area as a teenager looking for work on farms, and he started out picking coffee in the village. After some time working and saving, he was able to buy his own land and a house, and started producing his own coffee.
Eli has worked closely with us since the very first days of our Peru project and has transformed from producing washed coffees scoring approximately 85 points, to officially producing the finest natural process coffee in Peru, scoring an incredible 88.73 points amongst the notoriously tough judging criteria. This natural is an explosion of fruit sweetness backed by a thick jammy finish; it is elegant, refined, with uncompromising confidence in the succulent punch it packs. Now’s your chance to secure the 8th place CoE Winner and Peru’s highest scoring natural of all time!
Chirinos is a district in the province of San Ignacio and is one of the most well-known areas for quality coffee in Peru. Chirinos is well connected to nearby cities, with new roads and a thriving town, which serves as a hub for coffee buying and trade. Whilst the coffee landscape in Chirinos is still dominated by middlemen and FTO certifications, there is a growing interest in specialty coffee and some of the biggest cooperatives in the area have been promoting quality for a number of years. However, for those producers that aren’t members of coops, of which there are many, there is still little access to market and little support to invest in their farms and improve quality. There are a number of villages across Chirinos which have ideal growing conditions for coffee, with altitudes above 1700 masl, and many producers still have old pure Arabica varieties. We see huge potential for quality improvement in Chirinos. With small changes and investments, producers can escape low market prices which rarely cover the cost of production, and find buyers for their coffees that pay well above the market with quality incentives.
We have been working in Northern Peru for several years, buying specialty coffee from cooperatives and associations with whom we have built lasting relationships. Whilst a lot of the arrival quality we have seen in previous seasons has been good, we have struggled to impact upon that quality or make improvements in the supply chain as we would like. More importantly, the premiums we had been paying for quality rarely makes it directly back to producers, something we have had very little control over in previous years.
In Peru, like some other origins, coffee farmers are sensitive to market changes and often lack basic training and the incentive to produce higher qualities of coffee, as premiums often don’t materialise. For these reasons we decided we needed to change the way we buy coffee in Peru and work directly with producers, allowing us to control and improve upon existing quality and have full financial traceability. Ensuring these two factors would help us to pay higher prices for the coffees and to make sure that producers received a fair price for the coffee they delivered us, above the market price. In order to do this, we set up a warehouse in Jaen and started to buy in parchment directly from producers.
The Cajamarca region holds a lot of potential for quality coffee, with ideal growing conditions and great varieties, but quality is often lost in picking, processing and drying, with producers lacking infrastructure and knowledge. The most vulnerable producers are those that are unassociated – those who aren’t members of a cooperative, association or organisation – and they represent 75% of producers in Northern Peru. These producers don’t have access to training sessions or premiums for quality or certifications, and their income is totally dependent on the market price. Often, local aggregators – a buyer who lives in the same area – will come to the farm or house of a producer and buy their coffee for cash before selling it on; in some cases, directly to an exporter or more often to other traders and middlemen. This results in the producer being paid very little for their coffee and a lot of quality coffee is lost.
This shift in approach to sourcing will allow us to forge long term relationships directly with farmers, improve the coffee quality we can offer from these areas and increase producer household income through access to quality premiums. We now have over 438 registered farmers across the San Ignacio and Jaen provinces.
This lot is best reserved for filter. We would recommend starting with a medium heat and increasing it gradually, start with slightly bigger jumps after the turning point and smaller step ups throughout the drying stage. Once the Mallard phase is entered slowly start reducing heat in order to elongate the caramelisation to exalt the sweetness. Once at first crack develop around 10-12% for a nice fruity sweet and velvety finish. Aim for an overall roasting time around the ten minute mark.