Peru may not be a country that you readily associate with specialty coffee, and we must confess that we were the same, until we tasted some of the recent arrivals from the Cajamarca region, thanks to the fine work of our friends at Cafe Imports, and the local exporter. It's not the way we planned it, but sometimes some samples arrive and they taste so good that we can't help but share them with you.
Hilder Yaja Huanca has a farm called Finca El Monterrey, in the Nuevo Trujillo area of the Cajamarca region. It's about 1 hectare in size, sits at an altitude of 1,700 metres, and he grows Costa Rica and Typica varietals, alongside vegetables, fruit trees, and also some wheat. He first acquired this farm in 2011 and has been developing sustainable farming practices that he plans to carry into the future. This specific lot was harvested at peak ripeness, de-pulped, fermented for 14-20 hours, then moved to the parabolic dryer for a 9 day drying period. Most producers don't have access to parabolic dryers, so there is potential for loss of quality due to uneven or problematic drying - the post-harvest drying phase happens when the rainy season hits. When everything works well, however, there is amazing potential for really great coffee to be produced, and this one is a great example.
We get flavours of blackcurrant and sticky toffee pudding, with blasts of cherry, apple, and cocoa as well. In filter its incredibly easy to drink, and is a real all-rounder, suitable for a variety of brewing methods. As an espresso, it's sticky, chewy, fruity (blackcurrant and cherry) and will work well in a flat white or cappuccino.