Being first has so many consequences. Due to my irrational excitement about the next 6 coffees from Peru, I wanted to start you off with something beguiling. An unusual charm.
For me, this is a great coffee to start with, as it is deeply complex and with exactly the same roast time and colour as the second coffee in our line-up, but it tastes way more developed than it is. Often this could be attributed to freshness from harvest, I don’t think this is.
Farm name: Tinajay
Owners; Julia and Dionisia Romero
District: Santo Domingo de Acobamba
Farm size: Both Julia and Dionisia have about 1 hectare each, yielding 10-15 bags of coffee each.
Altitude farm: 2270 meters above sea level (High like African coffee…)
Varietals: 90% Typica and 10% Bourbon
Process: Fully washed: Selective picking, immediate de-pulping. Depending on the weather but an average of 36-40 hours of fermentation Drying: Dried for 15-20 days
Temperature: Approx. 15-22° Celsius during the day and 8-10° Celsius at night
Soils: Loamy clay, with an arable layer of 30 to 40 cm deep, presence of gravel, pH neutral, and presence of an abundance of organic matter.
Main Harvest period: June – October
Aromatics: Fruit cake | Body: Creamy | Acidity: Citric~sweet|
This is a really intriguing coffee, to me. On opening, this coffee is big-bodied and densely creamy with surprising juicy acidity. This is such a great sign. As the cooling starts, the jammy complexity opens up (just when you thought, is this just going to get chocolatey?) and there is a blackberry (he uses this descriptor with caution) sweetness and citrus linger. I have gone back to this coffee so many times because I am drawn to the fact that it isn’t simple and it isn’t very sweet. Really interesting to brew and explore what you can do with it. It can be a little dry if you over-extract it, for the record.
In V60: I am aware that by changing my V60 recipe, I can’t consistently compare it with another brew method. Using 31.2g of coffee into 500ml in 3 minutes 30 secs/ 95C water, with a 50-second bloom, gave me the closest I have gotten to the best bits that happen in a cupping bowl. This certainly gave me the beginning and the end of the great bits in the cup, but the middle. My brewing continues to be a work in progress.
In Espresso: This is a light to medium filter roast but has incredible soluble in espresso. Running up to 9oz in milk-based, this is brown sugary, and (unsurprisingly) lactic/caramel-like. Flat whites extracted well have that superb fruit and the espresso is king. I would start with a 1:2 ratio 17g (or whatever you like in) and 34g out in 30-35 seconds.
Roast level: Medium Filter.
Really, is there coffee growing in Huancayo?” This would be the first question that someone from Peru will ask you when you’d mention that you are buying coffee from a remote area in the Huancayo province. And indeed, on the way to the farms in Valle Pauran you pass the typical Andes landscapes; cold, windy mountain peaks with hardly any vegetation. You see people with woolen mantles and socks, wearing their hats and walking with their herd of sheep and goats. You can even see a mountain peak with snow in the mountain range in front of you. Then it is hard to imagine you will soon see coffee trees. But the desolate plains slowly turn into green and lush hills where coffee grows, still at the staggering altitude of 2200-2400 meters above sea level. This coffee is produced by two women, Julia & Dionisia, who live in the Pumabamba village, in the heart of the Valle Paurán zone with most of the coffee growing at a staggering 2200-2350 meters above sea level. Like many other growers in this region, Julia and Dionisia have small coffee plots of 1 hectare in production.
Yet, having their farms in such a unique micro-region and coffees with a completely different flavor profile than other coffees from the Central coffee region of Peru, they would be crazy not to try and enter the specialty coffee market.