La Coipa, Peru
Roast Level: Medium
Varietal: Red Caturra, Typica & Marga
Roaster's Notes: This lot represents soft fruits in a cup. With peachy and apricot notes, it has a delectable, creamy mouthfeel and vanilla sweetness. One to sit back and enjoy!
Producer: Aliz Garcia Cordova
Altitude: 1,800 metres
Through extensive cupping, Aliz Garcia’s farms have been singled out as some of the top lots from the region this year. Aliz Garcia’s lives in the town of Barrios Altos, La Coipa, around 2 hours from the association’s headquarters in Jaen; high in Peru’s Cajamarca department. Aliz has 4 younger children and 2 farms, La Naranja & El Chorro, both located at 1800masl. Both farms were originally inherited containing local varieties Red Caturra and Typica, as well as a new identified variety known as La Marga. Aliz also plans soon to begin growing the Geisha variety, with seed provided by the association. Due to the ever-increasing premiums paid for 85+ SCA scoring lots, numbers of new varieties and ‘Nano lots’ continue to grow in the region to meet demands. This drive to develop great coffee is also one promoted by the association, believing that producing great quality, leads to producer empowerment and wider benefits for all coffee families.
Both of Aliz’s farms take their names from notable landmarks located on the plots. Naranjas is named after the farms orange trees and El Chorro after the small river located close to the farm. Like many other farms in the region, the name is symbolic, reflecting the distinguishing characteristics in the surrounding area. Coffee production is currently Aliz’s only means of income, with any fruit trees or other produce grown reserved only for personal consumption.
Consistent ‘selective’ tree pruning is conducted to maintain the quality of the crop and to increase its yield. Farmers work in 15-year rotations, focusing on each variety individually. When a plant reaches the end of its 15-year life cycle, it will be dramatically cut back using the ‘Zoqueo’ practice. This sees the tree cut back to the stem just 30 centimetres from the ground, stimulating the emergence of new growth. In preparation for this event, trees of the same variety are planted two years in advance, meaning there is an uninterrupted supply of mature cherry.
Soil analysis is regularly conducted, with fertiliser applied in March and after the harvest in October and November. For Fertiliser, Aliz uses a mixture of compost and ‘guano de las Islas’, meaning guano from the islands. Located just off the coast of Peru are a collection of small islands, home to large sea bird populations. These birds produce large amounts of excrement, or, guano, which settles on the ground as a nutrient-rich top layer. Guano is collected on the island and transported to the mainland to be used as a fertiliser.
Harvest in Barros Altos spans from June to August. Coffee processing techniques in the region are tried and tested methods of production, often passed down through the generations. The process begins with the cherries being selectively handpicked, before being floated in cool clean water to remove any low-density cherries. Next, the coffee is pulped: each producer has their own de pulper located on the farm, often close to the house or main building. Once the coffee has been de-pulped, the beans are placed in a wet fermentation tank for around 36 hours, depending on the climate. The coffee is then washed three times to remove all remaining mucilage, drain any excess water, before finally placing the beans on raised beds to dry. Here, the beans will remain for around 15-20 days, depending on the level of rain.