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Peru: Felicitas

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In the cup: A beautifully balanced flavour profile that offers up the sparking acidity of pink grapefruit with the rounded sweetness of golden raisins. A pleasant mineral-like background.

Cupping score: 88 points

Mouthfeels: Mineral, layered

Variety: Typica

Process: Fully washed

Producer: Felicitas Ñahuincamasca Huillca / Finca Santa Elena

Altitude : 1950 m.a.s.l.

Region: Cusco

Background:  Felicitas Ñahuincamasca Huillca has been cultivating coffee since the 1990s and through coffee, she’s built a life for herself and her children. Today, her adult children work alongside her on Finca Santa Elena, where they cultivate 10 hectares of coffee, including the Typica variety in this lot.

High altitudes of 1,950 meters above sea level keep temperatures cool, which helps limit the spread of pest and diseases.

Felicitas and her family selectively hand pick ripe, red cherry and process it on their farms. They pulp and ferment coffee in water for 36 hours. Following fermentation, they wash parchment in clean water and lay it on drying beds to sundry. They rake parchment frequently to ensure even drying. It takes approximately 15 days for parchment to dry.   

Peru holds exceptional promise as a producer of high-quality coffees. The country is the largest exporter of organic Arabica coffee globally. With extremely high altitudes and fertile soils, the country’s smallholder farmers also produce some stunning specialty coffees.

Though coffee arrived in Peru in the 1700s, very little coffee was exported until the late 1800s. Until that point, most coffee produced in Peru was consumed locally. When coffee leaf rust hit Indonesia in the late 1800s, a country central to European coffee imports at the time, Europeans began searching elsewhere for their fix. Peru was a perfect option.

Between the late 1800s and the first World War, European interests invested significant resources into coffee production in Peru. However, with the advent of the two World Wars, England and other European powers became weakened and took a less colonialist perspective. When the British and other European land owners left, their land was purchased by the government and redistributed to locals. The Peruvian government repurchased the 2 million hectares previously granted to England and distributed the lands to thousands of local farmers. Many of these farmers later grew coffee on the lands they received.

Today, Peruvian coffee growers are overwhelmingly small scale. Farmers in Peru usually process their coffee on their own farms. Most coffee is Fully washed. Cherry is usually pulped, fermented and dried in the sun on raised beds or drying sheds. Drying greenhouses and parabolic beds are becoming more common as farmers pivot towards specialty markets.