This past October, we (co-owner, TJ Semanchin and head of marketing, Neal Olson) travelled the long and bumpy road to the village of Huabal, which is perched high in the northern Peruvian Andes above the city of Jaen. Over time, we’ve zeroed in on this community for their exceptional elevation, varietals and consistency. Last year, we began purchasing coffee exclusively from Huabal. In an effort to deepen our relationship with quality-focused farmers in the area, we’ve partnered with Mr. Wilson Santos this season, whom we had the pleasure of meeting at last year’s SCAA conference in Seattle.
This exceptional micro-lot comes from his two small farms in the mountains above Huabal: El Cedro and El Laurel. His farms range from 1850 to a staggering 1950 meters above sea level (6,400 feet). As we walked the unfathomably steep mountainside, Wilson trimmed straggling branches of his beautiful yellow caturra and red bourbon plants. We noted that a single branch could boast both bunches of ripe cherries and incredibly fragrant coffee flowers. At such a high elevation, coffee cherries mature extremely slow, which causes a blurring of the lines between growing seasons. Wilson’s coffee cherries are hand picked, manually de-pulped, and partially dried on his farm before being fully dried on raised drying beds.
We’re elated at the unique characteristics coming through in our first batches of this meticulously processed micro-lot. We’re tasting bing cherry, B grade maple syrup, and plum. Perfect for a stoked fireside on a cold Wisconsin winter morning.
Try his outstanding coffee here.