Peru began exporting coffee commercially around 1887 and is now the 8th largest producer in the world and the single largest exporter of organic certified coffee. The crop is around 2,000,000 bags annually and coffee now represents 5% of total exports. Peru is also the world’s largest producer of asparagus!
Coffee production is centred around the region of Cajamarca in the north of the country where more than a third of all the country’s coffee is grown. Coffee is also produced in Apurimac and Cusco to the south. The average size of the farms is just under 5 hectares – similar to Bolivia – and the most common varietals are Typica, Bourbon, Pache, Caturra and Catimor.
Peru has some of the highest growing altitudes with coffee found at up to 2,200m and many unique microclimates. At present, much of Peru’s coffee is collected from the small farms, bulked and milled and marketed through cooperatives. There is great potential to improve this regional identity of coffees and develop greater traceability and identify small exceptional producers. For the past 10 years, Mercanta has been working closely with the community of El Guabo improving and developing their coffees and aiming to develop smaller lots that will reward and recognize individual growers.
Our Peru coffees arrive around August/September.