What we taste: Juicy red apple, plum, and malty dark chocolate
ORIGIN: South America
REGION: Querocoto, Chota, Cajamarca
PROCESSING METHOD: Washed
ALTITUDE: 1800 - 2400 meters
VARIETIES: Typica, Caturra, and Pache
Rutas del Incas was founded on October 26, 2013, with just 33 members and is headquartered in the Querocoto District of the Chota Province in Cajamarca, Peru. Currently the cooperative has 258 members—30 women and 228 men—throughout 27 communities in the Querocoto, Huambos and Querocotillo Districts.
Rutas del Incas produces high-quality coffee created by favorable environmental conditions such as temperature, day length, a consistent humidity of 70 to 80%, high altitude, and rainfall. These conditions, combined with a wide variety of cultivars and good management practices—including proper composting, selective harvesting, well-timed fermentation, and solar drying—converge to make an excellent coffee. The coffee is 100% washed, with 80% of the cooperative members processing the coffee individually at their farms. The coffee is depulped the same day it is harvested, then fermented for 12 to 20 hours depending on the altitude of the farm. Eighty percent of the coffee is dried in solar tents with raised beds, with the remainder dried on covered patios.
The cooperative supports members with fertilizers, drying tents, fermentation tanks, depulping machines, and small irrigation systems as a part of a rotating seed fund. Rutas del Inca is backed by strategic allies that support the cooperative though technical assistance, Fair Trade and Organic Certification, business management, organizational support, trainings on gender and environmental conservation, and coffee quality control. This support comes in the form of three-year projects that are expected to continue with the support of public institutions and international bodies.