We have been purchasing microlots from the Chirinos Cooperative for five years. This particular lot, grown by Angelica Larreategui Nunez, is a new lot for this year, and so far we have been so pleased–even pleasantly surprised–with the results.
A quick explanation: the two microlots we have been purchasing for the last four years from Chirinos have been consistently excellent, so this past winter we asked about the possibility of adding a third lot from a new producer to our lineup. The samples we received were…pretty good, but not really of the caliber that we tend to look for when purchasing microlots. Nevertheless, we agreed to purchase the one that had the most promise, because it was solid, and because of our track record with the cooperative.
So we were psyched when we started roasting this coffee–one we had designated for blending, and maybe even dark roast usage–and found it to be excellent. And it turned out that the producer plays a prominent role in the organization, having been elected as president of the coop’s women’s committee. She has a tiny, one hectare farm planted in Catuai, and the coffee she grows matches up with her personality: light and bright.
In the cup, we find plenty of sweetness, along with a tannic structure, in the fragrance of the dry grounds. The coffee itself is crispy and clean, with a fair amount of tea-like tannins that are present, but delicate. The flavors range from white florals to apples to light citrus, with an apple-like, malic acidity. The sweetness itself is more along the lines of cane or raw sugar than caramel or chocolates.
We had the privilege of meeting Deisy, the coop’s head, at this year’s SCA convention in Boston, and she expressed gratitude to us for committing to the microlot program and paying more for coffees, even when they may not be at their peak. It is truly humbling to be in a position to make a difference in a producer’s income.
Location: Cajamarca, Jaen
Elevation: 1650 MASL
Varietal: red Catuai
Process: washed and dried on patios and raised beds