Roaster’s tasting notes:
This farm is owned and run by a Nancy Mendoza and this lot was chosen by me as the best from the twelve lots available.
A balanced coffee, notes of cocoa and almond combine with subtle tropical fruits. The sweetness is of caramel and vanilla affording the coffee a pleasing easy drinking quality. A crowd favourite that is organically certified.
Through extensive cupping, Nancy Soledad Mendoza’s farm has been singled out as some of the top lots from the region this year. Nancy’s farm is located in the town of Barrios Altos, a3-hourjourney to Jaen, the location of the association’s department high in Peru’s Cajamarca department.
Nancy is 28 years old with two daughters living on her farm. She joined Alpes Andinos in 2020. Coffee production has been in her family since she was a child–so Nancy is no stranger to growing coffee in Peru. In addition to growing coffee, Nancy also raises cows to produce milk and cheese in order to provide another source of income for her family.
She maintains a regimented schedule beginning with an early morning milking her cows, then taking her daughters to school, and working on the coffee farm for the remainder of the day. Her farm is called El Mango because of the presence of mango trees within the area. Nancy grows Bourbon and Caturra on her 2-hectare plot which thrive at the 1,800 meters above sea level altitude.
After torrential rains in 2020, a landslide destroyed a portion of her trees. She was able to reconstruct these areas in 2021 to maintain production. 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. Nancy’s harvest spans from May to October. Coffee processing techniques in the region are tried and tested methods of production, often passed down through the generations. Her process begins with the cherries being selectively handpicked, before being floated in cool clean water to remove any low-density cherries. She then ferments the cherries for 72 hours in bags to initiate the breakdown of the exterior mucilage. Next, the coffee is pulped on site by putting the cherries through a de-pulper to remove the exterior fruit and washed three times to fully eliminate any remaining fruit and foreign matter. Once complete, the coffee is placed on raised beds to dry for 10–20 days depending on the weather. The coffee is then sent to Jaen where it is hulled and prepared for export