This inviting coffee from producer Mesias Ibarra opens up with subtle aromatics of green grape, almond, and milk chocolate. In the cup, flavors of fresh Bartlett pear and mild florals are complemented by an integrated citrus acidity and satisfying nut brittle sweetness.
A seasoned coffee farmer from the La Convención province of Cusco, Mesias Ibarra has been producing coffee since 1973. The clean and balanced profile of this field blend of bourbon, typica, and caturra varieties showcases his extensive experience as a coffee producer and his growing commitment to quality at the farm level.
With his history in coffee production dating back to 1973, Mesias Ibarra’s story is somewhat in contrast to the younger, early generation farmers we’ve recently had the opportunity to feature from Cusco in Peru. His ten acre farm, El Triunfo, sits at an impressive 2,110 masl in the district of Santa Teresa, within the province of La Convención in Peru’s broader Cusco region. Throughout the year, Mesias relies on friends and close family to help him maintain and develop best practices and infrastructure on his farm, about half of which is currently dedicated to coffee production. Despite Mesias’ long history producing coffee, it wasn’t until 2018 that he began to work more specifically towards production of higher quality, specialty grade coffee with the aim of fetching higher prices on the market. As a result, his focus has been on more organized farm management, careful cherry selection, better control of fermentation processes, and even submission of his coffees to Cup of Excellence competitions.
This coffee from Mesias’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 Mesias. 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.
A blend of Bourbon, Caturra, and Typica varieties, Mesias’ coffees undergo a ‘limited-oxygen’ fermentation process, where pulped cherries are sealed in barrels for 36 hrs before being washed and dried for milling. In the cup, Mesias’ coffee is impeccably balanced with soft fruit notes of pear, toasted almond, and an inviting brown sugar sweetness throughout.