Raul Gutierrez - 2022

Raul Gutierrez - 2022

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    Fresh orange peel, milk chocolate, and candied nut aromatics introduce this delicately complex coffee from producer Raul Gutierrez. A silky mouthfeel in the cup is complemented by flavors reminiscent of red grape and apple, with mild strawberry, marzipan, and black tea emerging as the coffee cools.

    This is Passenger’s first time featuring a coffee from Raul Gutierrez, a producer in the La Convención municipality of Peru’s Cusco department. Focusing over a quarter of his farm on production of bourbon and typica varieties, Raul’s dedication to ripe cherry selection translates to a sweet, clean, and approachable cup.

    Raul Gutierrez began producing coffee in the Quelloúno district of Cusco, Peru, in 2015 after his wife Carlota inherited a parcel of her father’s farm. Upon inheriting the farm, the pair immediately began focusing over a quarter of their 4 hectare plot to coffee production, guided by the experience and assistance of Carlota’s father. Since then, Raul has continued to work towards improving the quality of his coffee production, with a particular focus on ripe cherry selection. Among his goals for the future are improved and expanded solar drying beds for the farm and continued improvement of the consistency and quality of his coffee. Since 2018, Raul has been part of a grower education program funded by importer Caravela Coffee, which assists producers on the ground with education and implementation of best practices surrounding productivity, quality, farm management, and sustainability.

    This coffee from Raul’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 Raul. 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.

    Raul Gutierrez and his wife Carlota largely produce typica and red bourbon varieties on their farm, as well small amounts of gesha. After pulping, the coffees are given a ‘low-oxygen’ fermentation in sealed barrels for 36 hrs before being washed. Taking around 20-25 days to dry completely, any remaining coffee that Raul is unable to dry on his personal canopied patios or solar dryers are brought to a local dry mill to reach the proper moisture content for hulling. The cup profile of this coffee features a delicate red grape acidity, with the sweetness and body of milk chocolate and graham cracker.

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