We believe that Peru produces some of the best organic coffee in the world and we wanted to create a special microlot that would showcase the best the country can offer. Discussing the idea with the Frontera San Ignacio cooperative, they worked with their members to create a consistent high scoring microlot that is produced organically, and will exhibit the same characteristics year on year. Because the cooperative is made up of small holders, this means that in order to maintain consistency of flavour, the contributing farmers may vary slightly year on year. For the farmers, maintaining a presence within the cooperative means that even if their coffee is not used for the microlot, it is still sold to us through the cooperative for the other lots we buy. In this way, we can maintain high scoring microlots, and keep the benefits of cooperative membership for the farmers in San Ignacio.
The San Ignacio Province sits at the top of the Cajamarca region in Northern Perú where the Rio Canchis splits the country from Ecuador. The farms are located in the buffer zones of a protected natural area, and have seen spectacled bears, cock-of-the-rocks, jaguars and peccaries within their boundaries. This means working with an organic methodology and certification is a strategic point because through these standards, a culture of protection of wildlife and species in danger of extension is encouraged and created.
Coffee here is commonly fermented in wooden tanks built from fallen Romerillo trees (regulations prohibit the chopping down of them.) This is because when coffee ferments it generates heat, and the wood is better at dispersing the heat and therefore ensuring an even temperature throughout the fermentation tank, whereas with concrete, heat would be absorbed and stored more easily in the sides, creating differences throughout the batch and inconsistencies in the final cup.
Coffee is processed fully washed, and the parchment delivered into the warehouses of the cooperative in San Ignacio town. Each batch is evaluated for physical appearance, tasted at the quality laboratory and separated according to quality and certification. It is then transported to the dry mill in nearby Chiclayo city. The export department is based here as well as another quality control laboratory with well-trained staff, and each under the control of certified Q grader