For decades, the Amazon forest has been shrinking due to farmers cutting it down for new crop space, otherwise known as clearcutting. Although the production of new crops is on the upswing, this type of non-sustainable farming practice contributes greatly to deforestation. Eventually, this could mean an overall quality reduction and yield of crops as clearcutting continues. The San Martin area is particularly in critical danger, but the Alto Mayo Protected Forest project seeks to change all of this.
To support coffee farmers who participate in the Alto Mayo Protected Forest project, we sourced a single origin coffee to promote sustainable, environmentally friendly farming practices in Peru. Before you try a cup, you should know about the impact you’re helping us make just by drinking it.
Growing more fair-trade coffee is a wonderful thing, but the gallant story behind this project is that it impacts the lives of the producers in an incredible way. In return for using sustainable coffee farming methods, families are not only being paid more, but they’re receiving access to certain benefits and technologies that they didn’t have before (cooking stoves are just one example). Sustainable coffee farming also replenishes nutrients to the soil to keep it healthy and rich. Rich soil produces better beans and better tasting coffee. Would you want anything less in your coffee? The project also rehabilitates family farms that have been destroyed by Roya, a fungus that devastates coffee farms and financially devastates the families that live and work on them.
Our Roastmaster, Chris de Mezzo, explored the Alto Mayo Region, and witnessed the difference the project has made on coffee and the environment. This trip, however, was something special. It was the 31stanniversary of the Alto Mayo Protected Forest project. And what better way to begin the celebration than by a cupping of the region’s best coffee?
Chris’s first stop in the Alto Mayo Region was to the cupping lab Riojas, where he cupped coffee sourced by local farms of the Alto Mayo Region. “Every year in the 4 years I have made this trip, the coffee keeps improving. this is no easy task to accomplish given all the variables that can really make farming in this region more difficult than it already is. We can see that sustainable farming is really making a difference for them. Soil quality, shade management, strict process guidelines, and great attention to detail is being followed from start to finish on every farm,” sated Chris. Chris went on to exclaim, “It is no surprise to us now as to why the coffee keeps improving each year, and why people who try this coffee enjoy it so much.” His next stop was to the Aquas Verde farm. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, even Chris was amazed by the care and dedication the farmers implemented. Farmers Xisto Vazquez and Edward Wibin Fernandez greeted him with open arms, and couldn’t be more excited to show off their work. “As they should have been,” Stated Chris. The trees were adequately shaded, evenly spaced, and were bearing healthy cherries. “It’s what every roaster who comes to visit wants to see,” exclaimed Chris.
Xisto and Edward took extreme detail with each step of the farming process. They showed Chris each intricacy of their caretaking, and even broke out the Refractometer that reads the level of sugar in a coffee cherry, which determines the correct time-frame to pick the cherries. “These guys have it down to science. Literally,” Stated Chris.
A new surprise to Chris was Edward’s use of a carved-out log for the fermentation (hyperlink to Sumatra blog) of his cherries. Chris was impressed with Edwards ingenuity as he was using a hollowed-out log to ferment & wash his coffee in. “Not only are they doing everything in their power to produce great coffee, but they are a resourceful bunch of farmers as well,” said Chris.
It’s no surprise with the amount of care the farmers put in, that they get out spectacular coffee. Joffrey’s is proud to show off the hard work and dedication of the Alto Mayo farmers by bringing you a genuine taste of the region. Our Peru Alto Mayo roastis 100% USDA Organic and Fair Trade certified, with deep chocolate notes and fresh vanilla almond aroma. What better way to support a great cause, than with this stunning coffee?
Starting August 20th, Disney Organic Peru Alto Mayo (11oz) is available online at Joffreys.com, Joffrey’s Disney Springs Location, and soon available in select grocery stores nationwide. Look for it at a store near you.