Coffee was first introduced into Peru in the late 1700’s and has remained an important agricultural export for the country since then. Today, Peru is one of the largest producers of coffee in the world, holding the rank of 9th largest exporter worldwide and 3rd largest South American exporter. With about 200,000 coffee farms this is hardly surprising. Unlike many countries, Peruvian coffee is not limited to just certain regions, also giving them a leg up in the industry. Coffee is grown both in the northern and southern regions.
Peruvian coffee can be difficult to profile for several reasons:
- There are no set standards throughout the country’s farms for producing coffee, therefore quality has a large range from poor and earthy tasting to rich, rustic, and flavorful.
- Coffee production not being limited to certain areas and instead being grown througout the country’s regions can mean a drastically different taste depending on which farm the coffee is from.
- While there are farms that are focused on quality over quantity, Peru is well known to mainly be focused on producing as much coffee as possible offered for the cheapest price possible. Unfortunately, this can often be tasted in the coffee.
The last point discussed, quantity over quality, that seems to be a trend in Peru, presents a problem for coffee farmers on an international level. This is because cheap organic Peruvian coffee simply undercuts all its competition in price. This makes it extremely difficult for other organic farmers to sell their potentially higher quality coffee simply because they cannot come anywhere near the price that Peruvian lots are often sold for. All this is not to say that great quality coffee can’t be found in Peru, you just often have to look a little harder to find the ones really worth buying and drinking.
Varietals: Typica, Bourbon, Cattura, Pache
Grow Regions: All
Growing Altitude: Between 1200 and 2000 Meters
General Cup Profile: Earthy/grassy medium to sweet and rich medium
Production Amount Exported: Over 216,000,000 kgs.
Harvest Seasons: Between November and March