This coffee continues our exploration of southern Peru, one of the more challenging places we've tried to work in. We believe the potential of this region is exceptionally high, and are eager to see how the next few harvests unfold. In the cup, we find a sweetness-driven chocolate-like profile, cherry, and vanilla.
Bourbon & Caturra
"Hand picked at peak ripeness. Floated to further remove defects and de-pulped on the day of harvest. Dry fermented for 35 hours. Dried on raised beds for 30 days. "
Peru, in general, remains one of the most challenging places we have sourced coffees from. Despite this, southern Peru remains a place with intense promise. The Quispe family continues to impress by producing some of the more complex and structured profiles in the region year after year. Indalencia is an older producer. She has named her farm after the Huayruro tree, which grows all over her farm. In Peru, these are known as 'lucky trees,' and they produce seeds that Indalencia dries and makes bracelets out of to give to babies and newborns to bring good fortune.
Bourbon is the most famous of the Bourbon-descended varieties. It is a tall variety characterized by relatively low production and excellent cup quality, but is susceptible to all the major coffee plant diseases. In the early 1700’s French missionaries carried Bourbon from Yemen to Bourbon Island (now Réunion), giving it the name it has today. The variety spread to other parts of the world beginning in the mid-1800’s as the missionaries moved to establish footholds in Africa and the Americas. Today, in Latin America, Bourbon has largely been replaced by varieties that descend from it—notably Caturra, Pacas, Catuai, and Mundo Novo—although Bourbon itself it is still cultivated in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru.
Caturra is a natural mutation of the Bourbon variety. It was discovered on a plantation in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil sometime between 1915 and 1918. Today, it is one of the most economically important coffees in Central America, to the extent that it is often used as a benchmark against which new cultivars are tested. In Colombia, Caturra was thought to represent nearly half of the country’s production before a government-sponsored program beginning in 2008 incentivized renovation of over three billion coffee trees with the leaf rust resistant Castillo variety (which has Caturra parentage).
The cost of getting a coffee from cherry to beverage varies enormously depending on its place of origin and the location of its consumption. The inclusion of price transparency is a starting point to inform broader conversation around the true costs of production and the sustainability of specialty coffee as a whole.