Specialty Coffee from PERu Valle del Mantaro
This Peruvian coffee comes from the districts El Roble and Tintay Puncu (Huancavelica) and Pichanaki, Río Tambo and Río Negro (Junín).
38 families from different communities have been involved in this harvest: El Roble, Palmapampa, and Llihuapampa in Huancavelica. More Anapiari Center, San Miguel de Autiki, July 28, Unión Progreso, Unión Santa Rosa and Flor de Maria in Junín.
With an average farm of 2.5 hectares, by those who consider themselves small coffee growers, located between 1,250 and 2,400 meters above sea level. In a harvest that lasted from May to September 2021. And in which the yellow Caturra, red Caturra, Typica, Bourbon, Pache and Catimor varieties have been collected.
In a wet process or washing. After a selective harvest, the fruit of the coffee tree is pulped, and, depending on the weather, it is left to ferment for 12 to 36 hours. This fermentation process is done in cement tanks. And then it is washed with clean water to finish removing mucilage remains. The drying phase occurs in African beds for 7-10 days and in a solar dryer for 4 days.
And the result is magical seeds with a body, sweet, milk chocolate flavor, and notes of honey and brown sugar.
The Mantaro Valley is an extensive valley located in the center of Peru. With an area that exceeds 34,000 km2, it is a valley of economic and cultural importance for Peruvians. This valley generates about 35% of the country's electrical energy due to the largest hydroelectric complex in the country. The Mantaro River is born in the Junín region and on its way runs through inter-Andean valleys of rugged relief. This river has other tributaries that continue to bathe neighboring lands, many of which are fertile, warm, and at high altitudes. It is in these lands where the cultivation of coffee, along with other fruit species, is possible. In fact, agriculture is the main economic activity in the valley. In it, its people grow different varieties of potatoes, vegetables, and cereals, but also fruits such as granadilla, oranges, and, of course, the already mentioned coffee.
The climatic and geographical conditions of the higher lands where the Andes and the Peruvian Amazon meet, mean that families have seen the cultivation of specialty coffees as a good alternative to sustain themselves. Areas like Tayacaja have gained recognition in national coffee and cocoa competitions. And of course, areas like Satipo and Chanchamayo are also known nationally for their high coffee production and its quality.
However, this area is also known among Peruvians for other less happy themes. The absence of the state and the inaccessibility of most of these lands led at the time to the development of subversive movements linked to drug trafficking, which brought with it violence and problems of all kinds for its population. For the families that live in the VRAEM (Valleys of the Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro rivers), the area where this coffee is grown, agriculture is not only their economic support, but it is also a symbol of the fight against illegal activities and represents for them the hope of living in a state of peace. That is why the promotion of coffee and cocoa cultivation and the articulation of these products to the market are included in the policies of the Peruvian state in its fight against drug trafficking. Thanks to these state policies, the municipality of El Roble, for example, has invested in 2 solar dryers that are now available to the communities and has helped them to have higher quality coffee.