Don't forget these...
Luz Emerita Herrera Villanueva | Finca El Eucalipto
La Higuera, Colasay District, Jaen Province, Cajamarca region, Peru
Fully washed and dried in the sun
July - August
In Peru by far the bulk of coffee production comes from small farms owned and managed by people who have for many years followed organic farm management practice attuned to their cultural connection with the land. Producers typically cultivate coffee on just a few acres of land intercropped with shade trees, fruits and vegetables. Small producers are often very careful about picking and sorting their cherry prior to depulping, fermenting, washing, and drying the coffee, all on personal equipment and on personal property. While producers design farm management and post-harvest solutions to fit their varying needs, they also need a strong business alliance to bring their coffee to the international market and earn fair prices, regardless if the coffees are blended or sold independently.
This particular lot of coffee comes from a single producer named Luz Emerita Herrera Villanueva, whose farm of only 1.5 hectares is named “El Eucalipto”. Luz’s farm is located in the Colasay community, just a bit southwest of the Cajamarca region’s main training city of Jaén. Luz is 41 years old and has 3 children with her husband, Liler Palomino Ugaz. She is the third generation in her family to produce coffee and sees the work not only as a critical source of family income but also a form of hard work she is very proud of doing. Aside from coffee Luz grows only plantains as a subsistence crop.
Coffee on Finca Eucalipto is depulped the same day it is picked, using a motorized pulping machine. Parchment is fermented dry for 24 hours in a small tank. After fermentation is complete, parchment is washed again with clean water and moved to dry in a small homemade solar dryer, a process that takes 10-15 days to complete.
This single-farmer microlot come to us from Origin Coffee Lab, an exemplary alliance recently established in Peru’s competitive north. The small team put together by José Rivera and Alex Julca--career cuppers, farmers, exporters, and quality managers who grew up in Peru’s sought-after northern coffee terroir--is quickly gaining a reputation for their outstanding portfolio of microlot coffees and above-expectations regional blends. Which should be no surprise, given the founders have decades of experience working with farmers of all kinds and cupping thousands of samples from across the Cajamarca region. So, they know what they’re aiming for. Origin Coffee Lab uses their extensive experience to set high standards for farms, with generous price premiums in place for those who rise to the occasion. But it’s not simply a take-it-or-leave-it proposition: their “Solidario” program is a curriculum that teaches best practices in farm management and processing to help small farmers maximize their quality, and profit. Farmers in northern Cajamarca province, especially in the mountainous communities just outside of Jaén, certainly have their choice of exporter. So the growing partnerships for Origin Coffee Lab and the popularity of their coffees signal that they clearly are offering something worthwhile to top farmers.