Producer: Tupac Amaru Co-Operative
Varieties: Caturra, Bourbon, Typica
Elevation: 1500-1800 meters
Drying: 8 - 10 Days on Raised Beds Under Parabolic Cover
Tasting Notes: Orange Zest, Milk Chocolate, Almond
Since before Red Fox was born, Puno’s Sandia Valley has been a constant source of inspiring producing partners and the delicious coffees they bring to the table season after season. While we’ve bought coffees from Puno every year of our nearly five-year lifespan, the relationship actually dates all the way back to 2007, when Aleco tasted a Puno coffee with mind-blowing florals and and gorgeous sweetness and had to track it down. After a 13-hour bus ride in blazing heat and humidity, he met our now-employee Tibed Yujra, became close friends, and came back to buy coffee every year.
Within the massive Sandia Valley lie many smaller valleys, each hosting unique coffee-producing communities of smallholder farmers averaging just 2.5 hectares of coffee land, including Inambari, Tupac Amaru, and San Juan del Oro. Due to a UN-led replanting project in the 80s, much of Sandia Valley grows Bourbon-variety coffee, offering an elegant, floral, honeyed, and dynamically citric character, or, alternately, a rich, full-bodied, and incredibly sweet malic red apple or pear aspect. These coffees are entirely unique to Puno, distinct from what you’ll find in other regions of Peru, and offer something for every palate.
Through many ups and downs, Puno’s Sandia Valley has been a constant in our work. As some relationships within the valley have ebbed, others have grown, and the coffees have only gotten better over time. We’re excited to bring you this year’s offerings, many of which we actually bought in parchment and milled ourselves, as well as to see what the future holds for Sandia Valley and the coops within.
All of these farmers are small in terms of their landholding. The average farm size is 2.5 hectares with coffee trees as old as 8 years. Harvest period in Sandia, Puno is between July and September. They all use hand crank depulping machines, ferment in concrete tanks and wash in the same tanks. A few of them have channels for a density separation after washing. The climate can be rainy, also similar to Colombia, so many producers use parabolic beds for drying. The cooperative also offers drying services at their receiving stations meaning that they’ll dry coffee to proper moisture levels for the farmers.