Cristian Lavan is a young producer with Lima Coffee, with only 1 hectare of land on his farm, El Manantial. He has been able to establish a small mill, where he has the infrastructure in place to sort, depulp, wash, and dry his coffees: He ferments the depulped lots for 22 hours before washing them and drying them under a transparent cover of plastic in the greenhouse for 20 days.
After getting married and starting a family, his father gave him an acre of land to begin his coffee operation – which he planted with both Caturra and Geisha varietals. Cristian’s commitment and passion to coffee has led him to finish his coffee within the top 30 in the prestigious Cup of Excellence competition in previous years.
As an origin, Peru has all the conditions necessary to produce world-class coffee: concentrated volumes of coffee growing at and above 1700 meters, a prominence of Typica, Bourbon, and Caturra, and a movement among the producing population, away from subsistence-farming, and into seeing quality coffee production as a viable business. As Peru is relatively new to the specialty-coffee world, a few challenges directly related to this matter still exist.
Peru’s coffee culture isn’t as strong as other major producing companies; it has no national association of coffee growers like Colombia and Costa Rica do. Also, the distance between the farms and parchment delivery points in general is very significant and farmers opt to wait for a full load before driving their coffee to town. This can negatively impact the quality.
Infrastructure on farms is also in need of attention. Most farmers dry their coffees on tarps laid out on the ground. As more incentive for the production of coffee with high cup scores are put in place, we hope to see these challenges quickly disappear as Peru moves full-stride into the specialty coffee world.
Although these challenges call for very clear and direct solutions, this hasn’t stopped Peru from producing some very impressive coffees.