Behind the Beans - Cedro and La Loma from Peru
High altitudes, ideal climates, and nutrient-rich soil in the Cajamarca region of Peru allow for the production of high-quality and organic coffee. Through extensive cupping, Roizer Livia Flores farms El Cedro and La Palma, have been singled out as one of the top lots from the region this year by our exporting partners in Peru, Alpes Andinos. Roizer has been a member of Alpes Andinos since 2020. From the start, producers belonging to the association have benefited greatly, as not only can members receive a higher price for quality products, but also can attend training sessions on topics such as how to make their plots more productive. This drive to develop better coffee is one promoted by the association, believing that producing great quality, leads to producer empowerment and wider benefits for all coffee families. Living in the La Naranja village, Roizer maintains his two farms, which are 1 hectarein size combined. El Cedrois named after the famous wood tree growing in the region, whereas La Palma is named after the shape of the mountainside where the coffee grows. In this region, farmers work in 15-year rotations, focusing on each variety individually. When a plant reaches the end of its 15-year life cycle, it will be dramatically cut back using the ‘Zoca’ practice. This sees the tree cut back to the stem just 30 centimetres from the ground, stimulating the emergence of new growth. In preparation for this event, trees of the same variety are planted two years in advance, meaning there is an uninterrupted supply of mature cherry. Soil analysis is regularly conducted with organic fertiliser applied in March and after the harvest in November. For Fertiliser, producers in this region usea mix of compost and ‘guano de las Islas’, meaning guano from the islands. Located just off the coast of Peru are a collection of small islands, home to large sea bird populations. These birds produce large amounts of excrement, or, guano, which settles on the ground as a nutrient-rich top layer. Guano is collected on the island and transported to the mainland to be used as a fertiliser. Harvest spans from July to November. Coffee processing techniques in the region are tried and tested methods of production, often passed down through the generations. At Roizer’s farms, harvest begins with the cherries being selectively handpickedand delivered by mule to the wet mill, just 100 meters away. At the wet mill, the cherries are floated in cool clean water to remove any low-density cherries. Riozer then de-pulps
the cherries with a machine and ferments the seeds for 90 hours to breakdown the exterior mucilage. The coffee is then dried until the ideal moisture content is reached. Once the ideal moisture content is reached, Roizer transports the coffee to Jaen, the headquarters for Alpes Andinos, to be hulled and prepared for export. This is typicallya three-hour journey.