Ines Carrasco Carhuapoma – El Mirador (La Coipa – El Mexico)
Ines currently lives on his farm El Mexico with his wife Gloria Neira and their daughter. The couple are both founding members of the Alpes Andinos organization. The farm is named after the tree grown throughout the region for wood, providing shade for the coffee.
At 1,850 meters above sea level, El Mexico reaps in the benefit of slow maturation of coffee cherries – helping to improve the quality of coffee in a natural way. Producers in the region 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 ‘Zoca’ 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.
Coffee was introduced to Peru in the mid-18th century via neighbouring Ecuador but was not commercially exported until the late 19th century. Production was only increased significantly after the turn of the 20th century, when Peru’s default on a loan owed to the British Government saw over two million hectares of land transferred to Britain (under the name of ‘The Peruvian Country’) as a repayment. A full quarter of this was put under agricultural production, including coffee, and it was at this point that export trade began in earnest.