Honey, stone fruit, and milk chocolate aromatics open up this sweet and satisfying lot from producer Marilyn Laucata. In the cup, we find the sweetness of fresh wild blueberries and green grape, followed by a creamy milk chocolate and marzipan finish.
Marilyn Laucata’s four hectare farm, Finca Agua Dulce, dedicates over 50% of its area to the organic production of Bourbon and Caturra. Despite being a young producer fairly new to coffee production, Marilyn’s accomplishments are already shining through in this beautiful coffee from the La Convención province of Peru’s Cusco region.
Marilyn Laucata’s farm is located in La Convención, the largest of thirteen provinces that make up the broader Cusco region, in southern Peru. Her four hectare farm in the district of Santa Ana is named Agua Dulce (or Sweet Water) after the creek that runs through her land. At present, Marilyn has planted bourbon and caturra trees on over 50% of her land, and uses organic methods to cultivate her plants. While she credits her father as the original source of her enthusiasm for coffee production, Marilyn has since taken on the endeavor largely by herself: managing her farm single-handedly for most of the year until the harvest season when her family arrives to assist her. Marilyn’s story is sadly rare in specialty coffee. In addition to being a talented female coffee producer within the often male-focused culture of coffee production, it’s increasingly rare to find younger-generation producers so eager to produce coffee at all, given the difficulty of the work and the risks offered by increasingly volatile global coffee markets. Given all of the above, we are truly inspired by Marilyn’s story, and her beautiful coffee is quite inspiring on the cupping table as well.
This coffee from Marilyn's 2022 harvest is one of four single producer Reserve Lots that together represent an exciting new chapter in the evolution of Passenger's Foundational sourcing program in La Convención. While our team has bought and presented coffees from the Cusco region for many years, it wasn’t until 2021 that Cusco officially joined the Foundational menu alongside our five other year-round offerings from producers in Ethiopia, El Salvador, Colombia, Burundi, and Brazil. For each of these Foundational Partnerships, the goal is the same: to try to add value for the relevant producers as a reliable, ongoing buyer - intentionally prioritizing the purchase of a broad representation (i.e. not just the 'cream of the crop') of the coffees and quality grades that each partner produces.
To that end, Passenger’s green buying team is working with our Peru sourcing partners at Caravela Coffee to carefully evaluate each small delivery of coffee that each member of a small group of Cusco farmers produces throughout the harvest. By tasting each lot individually we are able to make collaborative decisions regarding which lots to blend for the Passenger Foundational offering, and which lots to feature as special separations - as we are with the present Reserve Lot from Marilyn. This is the same purchasing model that informs the development of all of Passenger’s Foundational Partnerships (learn more about our sourcing philosophy here), and, given the nascent stage of these relationships in Cusco, we are especially excited to see these single producer lots added to the menu.
As is the case on many small farms in this region, Marilyn’s coffee plants are shaded by the presence of Pacay trees that grow on her farm and are indigenous to the Andean highlands. Post harvest, her coffees are depulped, fermented, and fully washed before being dried on patios to achieve proper moisture content for hulling. The result is a delicately nuanced coffee, with inviting notes of marzipan, fresh wild blueberry in the cup, and a floral, honeyed finish that is as approachable as it is elegant.