Showcasing the combined work of 12 dedicated families working completely organically in Valle Chingama in northern Peru, we hope you love this decadent yet balanced espresso.
The Producers & Their Approach
In the small hamlet of San Antonio de Chingama reside the 12 families whose coffee has been combined to create this lot from Agua Azul. They are collectively working as a ‘Comite’, producing their coffee completely organically and tending to a mixture of coffee varieties, predominantly Caturra, Catuaí, Pache and some Bourbon. Each family has their own small beneficio where they will process their own lots before they are cupped and either kept separate or collated into larger blends.
The farms are small, between 1 and 3 hectares in size, spanning from 1,550 to 2,200 metres in altitude. At harvest time it is typical to practice ‘Mingas’ (loosely translating as ‘today for me, tomorrow for you’) which involves sharing the labour of collecting cherries from the trees as a community, with each family helping the others out in turn. They will typically leave the harvested fruit overnight in sacks before depulping the following morning and dry fermenting for between 15 and 48 hours, depending on the weather. The coffee is then fully washed before drying for between 12 and 25 days in parabolic dryers.
The Exporter & Importer
Whilst we have established a more direct approach working in Cusco in Peru, for this coffee we cupped selections from Nordic Approach, who are working with an exporter called Origin Coffee Lab, through whom we secured a lot from Duber Vasquez earlier this year.
The farmers contributing to the Agua Azul brand are part of a program called Solidario, which includes training on farm practices and post-harvest protocols to improve yields and quality, as well as access to pre-financing. Origin Coffee Lab are paying higher prices for increased quality and aiding the producers in elevating their coffees to these higher levels. They are focussed on securing a living wage for their producers, and last year they paid out over $500,000 in premiums, meaning the price paid for the coffees was well in excess on not just the global C market price, but also well above the market rate for washed, organic Peruvian lots.
We hope to be able to visit Origin Coffee Lab soon and explore the northern profiles of Peru with more interest next year.
San Antonio de Chingama, Huabal, Jaén, Cajamarca, Peru
Cooked fruit notes & heady, vanilla-scented sweetness remind us of pear & blackberry crumble with custard. Fudge & praline flavours lead to a clean finish.