CENFROCAFE is one of the strongest cooperatives in Peru, both in terms of volume and quality. They have programs in place to increase production through organic fertilization also keeping plants healthy which is extremely helpful during coffee leaf rust outbreaks. CENFROCAFE produces about 120,000 quintales (1 quintal = 100 lbs) of coffee per year being one of the leading cooperatives in the country in volume. The average production per hectare is about 22 quintales which is high for organic production around the world. CENFRO recommends its producers to fertilize with Guano de Isla, phosphore ore, and Ulexite to achieve these yields.
In terms of quality, CENFROCAFE is one of the top exporters in Peru as well. They have placed in the top spotsin national competitions, thehaving a big potential for microlots,and they have excellent delivery with consistent full containers. Beginning in 2013 we began offering microlots to complement the APU full containers.
Prior to the 2013 harvest I had cupped delicious 90+ coffees from Southern Ecuador but nothing above 86+ from Northern Peru and the coffee growing regions are right next to each other with extremely similar conditions. CENFRO's producers have heirloom Typica and Bourbon varieties with altitudes of 1600+ and 1800+. We are extremely happy with the quality of the microlots we bought last year and will continue to expand this volume as the harvests keep coming in.
— Piero Cristiani, Café Imports Green buyer
Coffee came to Peru in the mid 1700s and was most likely introduced by Dutch immigrants. The Dutch brought the Typica variety which still dominates especially amongst the older farms and micro-farms. The first coffee plantings were in Chinchao, Huanuco in Selva Central and disseminated from there to the Northern (Cajamarca) and Southern (Cusco and Puno) regions of the country. Peru had its first coffee shop in 1771 in Lima and started exporting coffee in 1887.
Peru is a country which has great potential but for particular reasons it is extremely hard to find 87+ coffee landed in consuming countries. The potential is there: the country is the 8th largest producer of coffee in the world, has plenty of farms at and above 1600 and 1800 meters, and has predominantly Typica and Bourbon varieties; all of these conditions should give us, in theory, 88 - 90+ coffee. But this is not the case, high-end coffee out of Peru is very scarce due to the challenges they face. Most farmers own a couple of hectares only and are in remote areas. Many times their farms are 4 hours by foot from the nearest town and the town could be 8 hours by truck from the nearest port. This means coffee can sit at the farm unnecessarily for extended periods of time after it is dried. During the drying season climate conditions tend to be very humid with precipitation. Without proper storage, such as GrainPro, coffee will gain moisture and destabilize cup-quality.
For more information on coffee production in Peru, visit our Peru Origin Page.