Finca El Lechero is a small family-owned farm situated at 1870 masl, close to the village of El Huabo in San Ignazio, in Northern Peru. The farm is run by Ulises – a young, ambitious farmer, who has organised things extraordinarily well. Ulises has a keen eye for detail and is strongly quality oriented – which earned him a 12th place in the Peru Cup of Excellence last year.
When we say small, we mean small. Ulises’ farm covers a mere 2.5 hectares, where he grows about 80% Caturra and 20% Catuai coffee beans, which are mixed during the harvest. Ulises employs ten pickers at the most, who are paid 25 soles per day and enjoy a free lunch. The harvesting period leads from May to October and peaks around August. All the farmers in the area help each other out during harvesting season. This is called Mingas – which essentially means “today for you, tomorrow for me”
After harvesting, each farmer pulps and ferments their coffee in micro mills at their farms. Generally, this is a small pulper and a wooden or concrete fermentation tank. Ulises pulps and ferments the coffee on a small beneficio. Before being washed and rinsed, his berries are dry-fermented for 24 hours, and subsequently dried in parabolic dryers – one on the roof of his house and one situated next to it.
Although his equipment may be simple, Ulises controls his method strictly. Ulises is a third-generation coffee farmer who is proud of his family and his work. It is his mission to keep improving his coffee in terms of quality. Ulises aims to support his children to go to study and plans to eventually expand his land.
It is thanks to your taste for rare specialty coffee that Ulises can make a significant increase on his ordinary earnings, which enables him to develop his land further.