PERU: WHERE THE COFFEE IS AS RICH AS THE HISTORY
Peru’s rich culture, which was inherited by native Incas and influenced by immigrant groups from Africa, Japan, China, and Europe, is expressed in music, literature, art forms, dance, celebrations, religion, and more. The Quechua and the Aymara are the two main native cultures of Peru, both of which have preserved their rich cultures despite the pressures of globalization. Jaw-dropping ancient ruins of the Inca Empire, one of the largest in the old world, lie on the tall green mountains of Machu Picchu, which to no surprise is among one of the seven wonders of the world.
The people of Peru are family-oriented as many generations of a family live together with the young looking after the elderly, always ready to help each other through difficult times. Walking down the streets of Peru, and being greeted with open arms and radiating smiles, is enough to get a taste of its warm and welcoming atmosphere. Another long-standing aspect to Peru’s inviting environment is its coffee!
Peru has been growing coffee since the mid-1700s, but it wasn’t until the 1900s when European investment expanded the country’s coffee production and exportation. Peru has become one of the top producers of organic, Rainforest Alliance certified coffee.
Although the coffee farmers’ landholdings and micro-wet-milling operations are small, Peru has created a global reputation for its traditionally cultivated, Arabica beans. During the spring and summer months, farmers pick lush coffee cherries and carry them to hand pulpers and wooden fermentation tanks where the micro-wet-milling takes place. After the coffee is processed, many of the farmers trek their beans by foot or on the backs of mules over mountainous trails to get to the nearest town where coffee is bought and sold.
In the “Land of Brave Bracamoros,” otherwise known as Jaén, Cajamarca, 400 smallholder farmers get together to create something magical for coffee lovers. For several years, this small group of producers has been awarded with developing microlot-quality coffees.
A cup of FTO Norte Lima is soft and simple with a tangy acidity, releasing notes of lemon, grapefruit and toffee flavors.
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Header Photo Credit: Evan Sanchez