Coffee Origins: Peru

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Coffee Origins: Peru
Coffee Origins: Peru – Coffee was brought to Peru for the first time between 1740 and 1760 when the Viceroyalty of Peru encompassed a bigger area than it does today.
Despite the fact that the environment was ideal for large-scale coffee cultivation, the first hundred years or so of coffee production were consumed locally. The first coffee exports to Germany and England were not until 1887.
Coffee Origins: Peru

The Peruvian government defaulted on a loan from the British government in the 1900s, and as repayment, they were given two million hectares (five million acres) of land in Central Peru.

One-quarter of the area was converted to plantations, which grew a variety of products, including coffee. Migrant workers from the Highlands were brought in to work on these farms, and some of them eventually became landowners. Others would subsequently leave Peru and purchase land from the British.

Unfortunately for the coffee industry, Juan Velasco’s government brought in-laws in the 1970s that would cripple growth. The International Coffee Agreement had guaranteed sales and prices, so there had been little incentive to create proper infrastructure.

When state support was withdrawn, the coffee industry sunk into disarray. The quality of the coffee and Peru’s market position further suffered at the hands of the communist party, The Shining Path, whose guerrilla activity destroyed crops and drove farmers from their land.

The vacuum left in Peru’s coffee industry has recently been filled by non-government organizations such as Fair Trade, and now a large quantity of coffee from Peru is FT certified.

More and more land is also being devoted to coffee: in 1980 there were 62,000 hectares (154,000 acres), today there are 95,00 hectares (235,000 acres). Peru is now one of the largest producers of coffee in the world.

Coffee Origins Peru
The vacuum left in Peru’s coffee industry has recently been filled by non-government organizations such as Fair Trade, and now a large

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The infrastructure within Peru still stands in the way of the country producing extremely high-quality lots. Few mills are situated close to farms, which means that the coffee is often traveling longer than is desirable after harvest before processing starts.

Some coffees end up being bought and blended with other coffees, then resold en route to the coast for export. Interestingly, around one-quarter of the hundred thousand small producers in the country are now members of cooperatives, although it is important to remember that Fair Trade certification can only apply to coffee produced by a cooperative.

There is also a strong culture of organic production in Peru, though this rarely yields higher cup quality. In fact, the organic coffees produced in Peru are often so cheap that they end up bringing down prices paid to other farmers, regardless of them producing higher-quality coffee.

Perhaps because of this, and also because of the widespread cultivation of the Typica variety, leaf rust is increasingly a problem for Peruvian producers.

While the 2013 crop was good, there have been severe outbreaks of leaf rust, which may well reduce overall production in the near future.

Peru state college

The Peru State College Dining Hall is organized around destinations, or action station sections, that encourage fun and excitement during meals. Fresh Ideas brings the action of a kitchen to our guests, rather than having all of the food preparation take place behind closed doors in a rear kitchen.

This all-you-can-eat restaurant has a wide range of menu options. Food is made with the finest ingredients and cooked specifically for you. Traditional home-style entrées are available at the Chef’s Table.

Classics like burgers and chicken are prepared to order at the Grill. Artisan-style pizza, calzones, and pasta are available at Trattoria. Salad Station, as well as a variety of homemade sweets and beverages, are available.

Traceability (UK)

The best coffees should be traceable down to a producer group or down to a single estate.

Taste profitle(travel)

Typically Peruvian coffees have been clean, but a little soft and at. They are sweet and relatively heavy-bodied but not very complex. Increasingly there are distinctive and juicier coffees becoming available.

Growing regions

Population: 31,152,000

Number of 60kg (132lb) bags in 2016: 3,800,000

Some coffee is grown outside of the main regions listed below, but not in the same quantities and without the same level of recognition. Some might argue that Peru is well placed to deal with the increased temperatures that may come with climate change, as it has plenty of land at higher altitudes that may become suitable for growing coffee in the future.


Cajamarca is a state in the north of the country named for its capital city and covers the northern end of the Peruvian Andes. The region benefits from an equatorial climate and soils suitable for coffee. Most producers in the region are smallholders, although they are often well organized and belong to producers’ organizations, which supply technical help, training, loans, community development, and other support. One of these organizations in the region, CENFROCAFE, works with 1,900 families to promote coffee roasting and runs a local café to help the farmers diversify.

Altitude: 900–2,050m (3,000–6,750ft)

Harvest: March–September

Varieties: Bourbon, Typica, Caturra, Pache, Mondo Novo, Catuai, Catimor


This region produces 20–25 percent of Peru’s coffee and here the coffee grows in amongst the rainforest. The area did suffer in the 1980s and 1990s as a result of guerrilla activity, and the neglect of the trees during this period allowed plant diseases to spread. The coffee industry had to be restarted from almost nothing in the late 1990s.

Altitude: 1,400–1,900m (4,600–6,200ft)

Harvest: March–September

Varieties: Bourbon, Typica, Caturra, Pache, Mondo Novo, Catuai, Catimor


Cusco is a region in the south of the country where coffee, in some ways, is the legal alternative to the other popular crop in this area: coca. Most of the coffee is grown by smallholders, rather than larger estates. The area thrives on tourism, and many visitors travel through the city of Cusco on their way to see Machu Picchu.

Altitude: 1,200–1,900m (3,900–6,200ft)

Harvest: March–September

Varieties: Bourbon, Typica, Caturra, Pache, Mondo Novo, Catuai, Catimor

San Martin

This region is on the eastern side of the Andes, and many farmers produce coffee on plots 5–10 hectares (10–24 acres) in size. In the past, this was the main area of coca production in Peru, although cooperatives in the region now promote the idea of diversification by growing other crops alongside coffee, such as cacao and honey. In recent years the level of poverty in the region has dropped dramatically, from 70 percent down to 31 percent of the population.

Altitude: 1,100–2,000m (3,600–6,600ft)

Harvest: March–September

Varieties: Bourbon, Typica, Caturra, Pache, Mondo Novo, Catuai, Catimor

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Peru’s limited infrastructure stands in the way of the country producing coffee of outstanding quality. The delivery and processing of fresh harvests are often delayed and few mills are located near plantations.

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