Last Updated on September 30, 2021 by John Moretti
Peruvian coffee is a must-to-try for anyone who enjoys a great cup of coffee, as these coffees are produced by a few of the most experienced coffee farmers. Let me go through what you should know about Peruvian coffee.
Peru began exporting its coffee in the late 1800s and is now the 11th biggest coffee-producing country globally. Most of the coffee from Peru is cultivated in high altitudes to enhance the coffee’s flavor and aroma. The coffee produced in different regions in Peru has Different flavors.
This article will look at the history of Peruvian coffee and how and where Peruvian coffee is cultivated. I will also give you the names of the best Peruvian coffee beans on the market today.
- Volcanica Organic Peru Coffee
- Cubico Coffee Peru
- RhoadsRoast Approcassi Cajamarca
- Cafe Altura Peruvian Dark Roast
- Java Planet Decaf Peru Single Origin
- AmazonFresh Peru Medium Roast
Quick Facts About Peruvian Coffee
Even though you will read through a lot of information regarding Peruvian coffee, there is still some quick interesting information that you may want to know.
Every country that produces coffee has a coffee culture with interesting twists and turns in them, and the coffee culture in Peru is no different. Let us go through some fun and fascinating facts about the coffee that is grown in Peru.
- Peru ranks in fifth place in the exportation of Arabica coffee beans in the world coffee market
- CENFROCAFE is a cooperative of coffee farms in Peru that has more than 80 farms associated with it, along with about six dry mill processing and other finishing associations
- Around 92% of the coffee beans that come from CENFROCAFE are organic coffee beans, and 100% of the coffee beans are certified fair trade
- Peruvian coffee is pure Arabica type coffee beans with 70% being Typica, 20% being Carurra, and the last 10% made up of other varieties
- Peruvian coffee is one of the largest producers of Rainforest Alliance certified, certified organic, and UTZ certified coffee in the world
- The Alliance Peru Cocoa Is aiding coffee farmers in establishing high standards, as well as ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Peruvian coffee industry as they have more experience in this
The History Of Peruvian Coffee
Peru produces some of the best coffee globally, but it has not always been this way. So, let us look at the exciting history of coffee in Peru.
Peru was one of the first countries in South America to produce coffee only for domestic use; this was after the country had received some Arabica coffee beans from Ecuador around the mid-1700s.
It was not until somewhere in the late 1800s when Peru expanded its coffee production into the international coffee industry. Unfortunately, the Peru coffee industry did not have a competitive edge for many years after they started global production.
This is due to the pervasive guerrilla wars that were taking place in the county at the time and the country being more focused on the more traditional crops like cocoa beans, and the price crash of coffee that happened in the 1990s. All of this created an uphill battle for Peru, which still had a fragile infrastructure.
Then, in early 2000, Peru rebuilt its infrastructure and everything else that had been damaged over the years of war and mismanagement. They created a more stable and endearing coffee industry in the country.
After all their hard work, Peru is the 11th largest coffee producer in the world as of 2021. This is mainly due to the government stepping up and assisting with funding to help increase the stability of the infrastructure to support the coffee industry’s growth.
After this, the country developed a fair-trade agreement that ensured the workers on the coffee farms were treated well and got paid fairly. This has allowed the smaller coffee farms to join together and form cooperatives, letting them take advantage of the fair-trade agreement and making it easier for them to sell their coffee internationally.
There has been a movement in Peru advocating for fair pay in women’s cooperatives in the coffee industry. And the Peruvian coffee industry is now trying to become organically certified.
Cultivation And Growing Regions Of Peruvian Coffee
Peru offers some of the best conditions for coffee plants to thrive in; this allows the country to have six major coffee-growing regions that produce unique and interestingly flavored coffees.
The central coffee-growing regions are Chanchamayo, Amazonas, The Andes, Southern Highlands, Cajamarca, and San Martin. Let us go through each of these regions in greater detail and see how their coffees are unique.
The Chanchamayo region of Peru is at a high altitude of 5,000 feet high even though it is a valley, and it is located on the eastern side of the Andes mountains. This region has exceptionally fertile land that has one of the best reputations in the country for coffee.
This lovely region grows a soft but sweet-tasting coffee bean with hints of chocolate, fruity citrus, and nuts. This coffee is usually considered a medium-bodied coffee. These tasty and sweet coffee beans are some of the highest quality coffee beans you will get from Peru.
The Amazonas is one of the world’s most iconic jungles, but not many people know that this region is the ideal spot for growing coffee beans. This region is located at an altitude of 5,700 feet at its lowest and 6,500 feet at its highest.
The coffee beans grown in this region of Peru have notes of caramel, dried fruit, and berries that sit lightly on the tongue in a well-balanced manner. These coffee beans balance body, taste, and acidity that creates a lovely smooth drinking experience.
Peru holds the largest continual mountain range in the world that is known as the great Andes Mountains. These mountains are a sight to behold, but there is also a little-known fact about this mountain range. These mountains hold the richest environments as well as agriculture that is great for growing coffee beans.
These mountains are at an altitude of 3,200 feet at their lowest point and are about 6.000 feet at their highest point, but you will find small coffee farms located anywhere within these altitudes. The coffee beans that are grown on the Andes mountains offer deep and rich coffee with complex flavors. You need to try this coffee if you want to understand the delicious flavors it provides; it truly is a must-try, one-of-a-kind coffee.
The San Martin region in Peru is located in the Northern Highlands of Peru. This region is surrounded by exceptional environments like the lovely Huallage river, the awe-inspiring Andean Plateau, and many other ravines and hills.
The San Martin region is the third-largest coffee-growing region in Peru, and the coffee that is grown in San Martin is certified organic coffee. This is a lovely tasting coffee that is medium-bodied, and it boasts notes of nuts, chocolate, and some caramel.
The South Highlands region in Peru is one of the largest coffee production regions in the country, as it makes up about 23% of the full coffee production in the whole of Peru. This region takes excellent care and pride in its coffee production and applies a hands-on approach in each area of the coffees production.
The coffee cherries that are grown in Southern Highlands are hand-planted and carefully nurtured throughout the entire coffee production process. This care creates some of the best fair trade certified coffee in Peru.
The Cajamarca Region in Peru is one of the larges Peruvian coffee farming provinces; it comes second after the Southern Highlands. This region mainly produces the Caturra, Typica, Bourbon, and Pacamara coffee varietal.
The coffee beans from this region taste stone fruit, vanilla, and molasses; it also has low acidity, all of which make for a well-balanced coffee with a smooth taste.
Cultivation Of The Coffee
So, Peruvian coffee is mainly grown in high altitudes of between 3,200 feet and 6,000 feet, although a few small coffee farms grow coffee at a lower altitude, which slightly affects the taste of the coffee.
The coffee is mainly grown by small-scale cooperatives that function under the fair-trade agreement, and these small-scale farmers favor the organic methods of producing coffee.
A large amount of the specialty coffee beans that are grown in Peru are primarily produced using the wet-processed method. This method includes lightly fermenting the coffee beans with the cherry flesh is still intact and covering the coffee bean. This is done to highlight the flavor profile of the particular coffee being produced and its unique tasting notes.
As the coffee industry in Peru has grown, the country is now the highest producer of fair-trade coffee in the world. This has greatly increased the exportation in the country with the funding of the small farmer’s cooperatives.
Flavour Profile Of Peruvian Coffee
As mentioned earlier, there are lower altitude coffee growing farms and higher altitude coffee growing farms. These different altitudes of these coffee farms affect the taste of the coffee produced in them.
The lower altitude farms in Peru, like the farms found around the small town of Nambale near the Peru-Ecuador border, usually produce coffee beans with a medium body, a mild acidity, and smooth notes of flowers, nuts, and gentle fruits.
And then, when you start making your way into the higher altitude coffee farms, like the larger farms that surround the Machu Picchu and Cusco areas, the coffee beans flavor will evolve to be a rich sweetness, with vibrant floral aromas and bright acidity.
These coffee beans that are produced at a high altitude are more like specialty-grade coffee beans that are the most sort after for their high quality. These two flavor profiles produced by different farms are relatively common. Still, Peruvian coffee bean farmers are coming out with many extortionary coffee beans that go far beyond these flavor profile generalizations.
These new coffee bean flavors are being produced seemingly out of nowhere and are being developed at a fast rate. Although look closer, you will notice that many coffee bean farmers were quite limited by the poor infrastructure that the country once had. They are now able to experiment and let their coffees shine in the international market.
This is why we are seeing more and more Peruvian coffee coming to the market seemingly out of nowhere. This is an exciting time for Peruvian coffee and all of us who finally get to taste it.
Interesting Coffee Varieties From Peru
Now that the coffee farmers in Peru are able to show off their best coffee beans to the international coffee market, some interesting coffees are coming through. These coffees are a must-try if you enjoy good quality, smooth and rich coffees, but some of the production methods used to make a few of these coffees may sound really strange as there are no methods like these used in the western coffee production industry.
You should not let these unusual coffee bean production methods scare you off from trying these coffees, as you may find your new favorite coffee if you let your adventurous side come out a bit. So, let us go through and have a look at these exciting coffee bean varieties from Peru.
Uchunari Peruvian Coffee
This coffee is first on the list as you may need to be a highly adventurous person to try this coffee due it is a highly unusual production method that will not be found in many countries. The Uchunari coffee beans are also known as the Peruvian poop coffee.
This is due to the fact that when the coffee cherries ripen and turn red while still on the coffee plant, they attract several different wild animals to them. One of these animals being the coatis, and this is the animal whose excrement is the key to producing this unique but quite excellent coffee.
The coatis will climb the coffee plant to reach the ripe and tasty coffee cherries, and they will eat them. The flesh of the coffee cherries will then be digested in the animal’s stomach, leaving the coffee bean undigested.
The coffee bean will be slightly affected as the stomach acid will penetrate it and start to break down the protein in the bean, leading to a smoother tasting coffee. This coffee is defiantly something to try when you go to Peru, although it can be pretty costly.
Capis Peruvian Coffee
The Capis coffee beans from Peru tend to be considered the best coffee beans in the world by those who try them. The Capis coffee beans are one of the rarest and most popular coffee beans in Peru.
This coffee is like the Uchunari coffee, in that it too is eaten by the coatis, and then the coffee beans are collected once that animal defecates them out. Then the coffee beans are washed and roasted. The difference between the Capis coffee and the Uchunari coffee beans is that the Capis coffee is ground into a kind of instant coffee.
This makes this coffee just as unique as the Uchunari coffee as should also be tried when you go to Peru; as this coffee is appreciated by people all over the world, you may end up being one of them.
Coffee Quechua From Peru
The coffee Quechua is a variety of Peruvian coffee that is grown and produced in Puno. This coffee is so good that it has won multiple local recognition prizes and some international prizes, making it one of the best coffees you can and should try when in Peru.
The 6 Best Peruvian Coffee Beans
You have gone through all the information about Peruvian coffee, and now you cannot wait to get some to try yourself. But where can you get some good Peruvian coffee beans? Which Peruvian coffee beans are the best?
A list has been created for you to find the best Peruvian coffee to suit your taste palette and enjoy it in the comfort of your home.
Volcanica Organic Peru Coffee
These coffee beans are some of the best quality coffee beans you will get from Peru, and they are from high-altitude farms. This means that the longer ripening times for the coffee cherries and the low temperatures allow each coffee cheer and bean to develop complex and rich flavors.
This coffee is a medium roast blend that is smooth and has a medium body with some subtle hints of plum, lemongrass, and nougat. The flavor of this coffee is bright, but the low acidity means you will have no issues after drinking it.
It is recommended that you drink this coffee black, as adding milk could overrun the subtle flavors of the coffee. This coffee comes in whole beans as well as already ground in various options like the espresso grind.
Cubico Coffee: Peru
Cubico Coffee is part of the CENFROCAFE cooperation in Peru, so you know this coffee will be good just from that and that the coffee is certified organic. But this coffee has more to offer than just the cooperation it comes from.
This coffee is grown in the high altitudes of the Northern Highlands in Peru, and it is made from hand-picked Arabica coffee beans. These coffee beans are smooth on the pallet and offer a bright flavor with notes of citrus that are then balanced out by a lovely sweetness that leads into a herbal finish.
RhoadsRoast Coffee Beans
RhoadsRoast coffee beans are fair trade, organic coffee beans that are hand-picked by seasoned coffee farmers. This is a delicious coffee that is mild-mannered and smooth while still offering a complex flavor profile.
This coffee is pleasantly sweet with some notes of almond, coconut, and milk chocolate. These coffee beans are Peruvian coffee beans that you can brew and enjoy multiple ways, with the flavors still coming through.
These coffee beans are available in light, medium, and dark roast, so whatever your pallet enjoys, you will find a roast for you. The flavor of these coffee beans changes the longer they are roasted, so if you prefer a light, bright cup of coffee with some good acidity, you should stick to the light roast.
Café Altura Peruvian Coffee
The Café Altura Peruvian coffee beans are organic, as they are grown with no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Every coffee cherry is hand-picked and then sun-dried to help preserve the beans’ flavor and ensure that the coffee is of top quality.
These coffee beans mix various dark roasted coffee beans, so they do pack a rich, smooth but powerful punch. Although this coffee is a dark roast, it still has a lovely mild body flavor, and you can enjoy this coffee hot or clod over ice for a lovely, iced coffee as a summer treat.
Java Planet Decaf Peruvian Coffee
If you are more of a decaf person or trying to cut down on your caffeine intake, but you still want to try different coffees from different countries, you are in luck as you have a great Peruvian coffee option.
These green Peruvian coffee beans are hand-picked, washed and dried, and decaffeinated using a 100% safe and natural Swiss water process. These coffee beans are dark roasted in small batches to increase the flavor and aroma of the coffee.
This coffee offers a smooth and mouth-watering chocolaty and nutty flavor that will make this coffee your new favorite. This coffee is also bird-friendly, Rainforest Alliance certified, and fair trade.
AmazonFresh Organic Ground Coffee
AmazonFresh organic ground coffee is a lovely Peruvian coffee that is pre-ground, so if you do not have a coffee grinder, you can still enjoy some tasty Peruvian coffee. This coffee is highly affordable, and it is fair trade coffee.
This coffee blend is not very distinctive, but it still offers a great cup of coffee. These coffee beans have a medium body and offer a tart but slightly sweet palate with a smooth and rich finish. These coffee beans may be on the acidic side, but they still make good coffee if you need pre-ground coffee beans.
The Final Word
Peruvian coffee is some of the best coffee in the world as it is defiantly worth a try at some point in your life. The coffee is filled with complex flavors unique to each region the specific coffee beans are grown in. these coffee beans are organic and fair trade certified, so when you buy them, you know you are not just getting good coffee. Still, you are also helping the farmers in Peru make a living. Enjoy your Peruvian coffee!