Cocoa, toasted nuts, and delicate green grape on the nose introduce a rich cup with a prominent and pleasantly coating milk chocolate flavor. As the coffee cools, we find softly layered flavors of apple, almond, and orange that are complemented by a mild berry-like acidity.
This blend of small, top quality lots, produced by a group of 7 coffee farmers from the province of San Ignacio in northern Peru exhibits the deep sweetness and delightfully nuanced flavors that characterize our favorite coffees of the Cajamarca region.
Located in Peru’s northwest corner and sharing a border with Ecuador, the Cajamarca region has been the source of many of the finest Peruvian coffees we have tasted in recent years. Among the Cup of Excellence winning lots that Passenger has been proud to feature in the past, two were produced by coffee farmers from Cajamarca: Filadelpo Mejia and Freddy Guevara.
In contrast to the aforementioned competition coffees that highlighted the achievement of single producers, this present selection is a blend of top microlots produced by 7 producers who all live in the province of San Ignacio, one of the thirteen provinces that make up the Cajamarca region. While we simply did not have sufficient space to share the names of all 7 producers on the retail packaging for this coffee, we are proud to acknowledge them here. In no particular order, the producers responsible for this 2019 “microlot blend” from Cajamarca are: Jose Teodulio Jimenez, Wilder Josmer Garcia, Maria Elizabeth Cruz, David Flores Chilcon, Rosxana Rafael Quispe, Elizabeth Troyes Dominguez, and Yen Erwin Calderon.
The farms represented by this blend are all quite small (approximately 3 hectares or less) and sit at an average altitude of 1690 meters above sea level. Each farm has its own small wet mill and each of these producers approached processing and drying for these lots in very similar ways. After the coffee cherries were harvested at peak ripeness, they were floated to isolate and remove defective cherries before being pulped and completing 18-20 hours of dry fermentation (meaning that the fermentation process occurred in the open air rather than with the freshly pulped coffee submerged in water). Following fermentation, the coffee was washed and then spread out to dry for 19-24 days. While individual producers represented in this lot have slightly different drying setups on their farms, the majority used either African-style raised drying beds or “solar dryers” that protect the drying coffee from moisture with a plastic barrier.
The tiny lots that were ultimately selected for inclusion in this San Ignacio blend were chosen for their consistently high cup quality and for the complementary similarities of their flavor profiles. Passenger’s green buying team was immediately impressed by this nuanced representation of Cajamarca and we hope to have the opportunity to continue offering coffees from these talented producers in the future.