“Huh! Is there coffee growing in Huancayo?” This would be the first question that someone from Peru will ask you when you’d mention that you are buying coffee from a remote area in the Huancayo province. And indeed, on the way to the farms in Valle Pauran pass the typical Andes landscapes; cold, windy mountain peaks with hardly any vegetation. You’d see people with woolen mantles and socks, wearing their hats and walking with their herd of sheep and goats. You’d even see a mountain peak with snow in the mountain range in front of you. The desolate plains slowly turn into green and lush hills where coffee grows, still at the staggering altitude of 2200-2400 meters above sea level.
This coffee is produced Guillermo Cardenas from Valle Pauran. Together with a group of producers from his community, he recently started to focus on improving the quality of their coffee. As he and his group are so far away from any bigger town or city in the province, they struggle with the high transportation prices to get their coffee to the nearest market. Selling their coffee against commercial market prices doesn’t therefore make a lot of sense. Yet, having their farms in such an unique micro region and coffees with a complete different flavor profile than other coffees from the Selva Central, they would be crazy not to try and enter the specialty coffee market. And so they participated two times in the Cup of Excellence competition, making it to the national selection. And from next season onwards, Sweet Coffee Grounds will start working together with Guillermo and the group, and jointly make a plan to improve and scale up their quality production.