What is a typical farm like?
The small holders each have between 1-3 hectare farms and as part of the Estrella Divina co-operative program have been certified organic. The farms are at altitudes of between 1300-1800 metres above sea level and each have their own small micro-mills or ‘beneficios’ where they de-pulp, ferment, wash and dry the coffees themselves. Fermentation usually takes between 13-18 hours and drying anywhere between 12-20 days (quite a range largely down to variance in altitude). The separately processed coffees are then brought together to be evaluated with the best lots being blended into the high quality community blend. The results are really special, we find that the coffee is always beautifully sweet and milk chocolatey with lovely red berry notes, lovely delicate florals. In spite of being a blend from multiple producers unlike our other Unit 14 coffees which are single producer coffees, it is often the highest scoring coffee of them, generally scoring between 85 and 87 points on the cupping table.
When the community lots are that exceptional we can only imagine how stunning micro lots would be.
A long partnership together
The community of 27 farmers that make up the Estrella Divina work closely together, particularly when it comes to harvest, they help each other during the busy season. They have a term “Mingas” which roughly translates as “today for you, tomorrow for me” which nicely illustrates their ethos of mutual assistance.
We as yet haven’t managed to make a trip to Peru, with one being cancelled due to covid and another due to budgetary constraints. It is high on our list to visit and build our relationships and understanding of the communities we buy from. Also we hope in the future to be able to buy more micro lots and single producer lots from the community of farmers that make up Estrella Divina.