Project Direct in Peru
The San Ignacio Region
In the northern reaches of Peru, near the border of Ecuador, is the San Ignacio coffee-growing region, which holds incredible unrealized potential to create coffees of distinction. The high elevation and the coffee varietals grown there provide the region a natural advantage. Ideally situated between 4550 and 6175 feet, the farms yield strictly hard beans (SHB), which are recognized for their high quality, and are somewhat rare in Peru. The varietals grown there—typica, bourbon, and yellow caturra—are admired for their flavorful fruit and are ideal coffees for the region. Additionally, the growers we work with use active organic farming, which improves soil conditions and productivity year over year. The ideal terrain and dedication of the farmers initially attracted us to the region. Now, after multiple visits and having witnessed their passion for producing a great coffee experience, we are excited to have a long-term direct buying relationship with the farmers of San Ignacio.
The farmers of San Ignacio have organized themselves into more than 80 regional cooperative groups with the primary goal of economic development through sustainable agriculture. We are proud to work with this group of committed farmers and to be part of the evolution as the already high-quality coffee from San Ignacio continues to improve.
After many miles traveled and hundreds of coffees tasted over the past 5 years, we have purchased coffee from over 40 small farmers in the region. By sharing our impressions of our cuppings with the growers, we hope to inspire improvements so we can buy from even more farmers in the years to come. While working within the cooperative has helped the farmers make progress in the areas of erosion prevention, organic composting, shade management, water preservation, and green space protection, the farmers directly benefit from our commitment to provide above-market compensation in exchange for a pledge to implement programs that incentivize them to improve cup quality.
The farmers of San Ignacio face a challenge similar to other farmers in Peru: How to maintain a consistent product despite geographic isolation and political turmoil. By working with the farms and understanding their challenges, we work with them to overcome their biggest obstacles to producing top quality coffee, such as inadequate compost levels (needed to grow healthful, strong trees), shortage of coffee drying stations, and less-than-ideal water supply. By helping the famers tackle the issues, we are directly investing in even better cup quality for you.
Because of their excellent quality and commitment to delivering on time, the coffee comes from farmers in the communities of El Huabo and Ricardo Palma. The coffees are well balanced and laced with lovely ripe fruit notes and bittersweet cocoa. The coffee has great balance between rich, creamy body and apple-like acidity.
- Balance: Excellent balance between acidity and body
- Aroma: Floral, sweet, Bartlett pear, banana edge, powdered chocolate, bittersweet cocoa, dark fruit like blackberry, citrus
- Flavor: yellow apples like Honeycrisp, grapefruit finish
- Sweetness: Very bright and crisp, ripe fruit
- Body: Rich and creamy, moderate