Peru's Origin Story: Why Their Coffee is a Labor of Love

     Peru started growing coffee in the 1700s. For much of the country's history, coffee was kept as a domestic product. But in the early 1900s, foreign investments made it possible for Peru coffee growers to reach coffee drinkers beyond their borders. Most of the coffee produced comes from small farms. The farmers don't have a lot of access to modern coffee growing technologies or pesticides. Coffee grown here is most often the result of the natural process without the use of pesticides. While the organic nature of farming coffee may not always be documented, farming without pesticides is common.

     Peru has a history of having highly decentralized coffee processing practices making it hard for small farmers to get a good price for their coffee. It's a highly manual process done by a small group of people working on small farms. This led to low quality coffee or selling at prices resulting having adverse effects on the coffee grower. Small farmers have begun to work together and collaborate efforts, and as a result, they created co-ops. These co-ops have helped increase the coffee quality while helping the small farmer obtain a fair price for all the hard work. As the building of co-ops has expanded, the coffee market is growing quickly. They are gaining more national and international recognition and are better positioned to compete with other coffee producers. Coffee is mostly exported to countries like the U.S., Germany, Belgium, Columbia, Sweden, and others. Right now, Peru's coffee exports account for 2 percent of its national economy and are growing an international presence among its competitors.

Coffee Growing Environment

     Coffee is grown in many areas of Peru, including the Lower Amazon Basin's jungle regions. The wide range of altitude from the Lower Basin of the Andes mountains to the higher regions provides an optimal environment for growing arabica beans. Peru has three main coffee-growing regions, which are located on the slopes of the Andes Mountains. They are Chanchamayo, the Amazonas, and San Martin. The high altitude of the Andes mountains creates an ideal environment for arabica beans. Peru is the 11th largest producer of coffee and 5th in its exportation of arabica beans. Harvest time is usually between June- September

Coffee Flavor Profiles

     Coffee grown in lower elevations have a mild brightness, medium body, smooth nutty taste, rich sweetness, and fruity flavors. While coffee grown in higher elevations like Cusco and Machu Pichu's surrounding areas have a brighter and more floral aroma. Higher elevations provide specialty-grade coffee.

     Sagebrush's newest Peruvian coffee comes from the El Cedro Farm. This farm is part of the Lima Coffees Cooperative. El Cedro Coffee is picked ripe and de-pulped the day or the day after it's harvested, then fermented dry for 35 hours before being washed three times. It's dried for 20-25 days. El Cedro Farm coffee is grown in the Jose Del Alto, Jane, and Cajamarca in Northern Peru and sits at an altitude of 1850 feet above sea level.

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