With sweet stewed plums, cake, and jasmine florals, this 100% Bourbon washed lot is cultivated and produced by Ciriaco Quispe Mamani on his farm in the Sandía Valley in Puno, Peru. From original seedstock brought to this area by the UN in the ’80s, the strain of this variety reminds us of Bourbon from East Africa.
Producer: Ciriaco Quispe Mamani
Origin: Puno, Peru
Tasting notes: floral jasmine, green tea, cake & stewed plums
Importer: Red Fox
Ciriaco Quispe Mamani lives and works in Puno, part of the Sandia Valley, north of the department capital of Juliaca, very close to the border of Bolivia. This place is where the United Nations decided to help out with diverting away from coca production with the hope of providing an alternative to a living that isn’t always all that safe – They wanted to bring back coffee production to the valley. In the ’80s, the UN was responsible for introducing Bourbon seed stock, a variety that we all know is delicious, but is certainly not a common choice today – It’s usually a more hearty hybrid.
Aleco and Tibed (a Puno native & part of the team in Peru at Redfox) along with the rest of the crew communicate well and are accountable to various producer groups in Puno in the south, in Cuzco and in Cajamarca in the north as well. The main reason why I gravitate to buying out of this initiative is their focus on paying well and properly, so farmers can do an excellent job running their small businesses. For example, Redfox paid Ciriaco 1,200 Peruvian soles/qq (100lbs of parchment or unmilled) for his coffee this year. Even with local prices higher than normal this season, this is a legitimately helpful amount. The local price (selling to a middle man or a base price) in Quiquira & Putina Punco is 500 – 550 soles/qq. Aleco shared with me that last year prices started around 350 soles/qq in and around the valley which is exceptionally low for the quality these folks produce.
Ok so let’s talk about how this coffee tastes! Thanks to that UN project, Ciriaco is working with a Bourbon strain that I’m not privy to, but if I were to guess, it tastes closer to the Bourbon you’d get in east Africa (if you’ve had Nemba aka Date Juice last year, you’ll know what I mean). This coffee is a bit of a chameleon depending on how you brew it. Sometimes I get cups that are so heavy with jasmine, other times, the sticky stewed fruit is front and centre. It really is a fun coffee, so play around brewing it a few different ways, or just make it how you normally do – you really can’t go wrong.