RAISINS. BALANCED. DARK CHOCOLATE.
RAISINS. BALANCED. DARK CHOCOLATE.
We are excited to bring back this balanced, approachable and delicious coffee for the third season in a row.
One of the few organizations located in the Chota province, Rutas del Inca is known for growing coffee at extreme elevation, with altitudes as high as 2,400 meters.
Rutas del Inca is headquartered in the Querocoto District of the Chota Province in Cajamarca, Peru. The area is known for production of potatoes, but since 2010 coffee production has proliferated thanks to support from various NGOs supporting this new crop that has great market potential. Rutas del Inca was founded in October 2013, with just 33 members. The cooperative exported its first crop in 2014, cementing itself as a quality-focused, organic-certified producer.
Currently the cooperative has 258 members—30 women and 228 men—throughout 27 communities in the Querocoto, Huambos and Querocotillo Districts. These producers live between 1,800 and 2,400 meters above sea level, in temperatures ranging between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The rainy season takes place between January and March, during which terrain in the area can be rugged. Rutas del Inca 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 up an excellent coffee.
Rutas del Inca 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.
Coffee drying during the post-harvest process is carried out by each individual family, and the parchment is subsequently collected on specific days in strategic locations. The coffee is then milled in Chiclayo at Planta Frontera, a centralized milling plant, and shipped out of the port of Paita.
The cooperative supports members with fertilizers, drying tents, fermentation tanks, depulping machines, and small irrigation systems as a part of a rotating seed fund. Members repay the value of these assets upon the delivery of their coffee at the end of the harvest. This creates an accessible way for members to make investments at the farm level.
Rutas del Inca currently provides collection and commercialization services for coffee, as well as technical assistance to strengthen the supply chain and ensure the implementation of good agricultural practices for its members. In 2015, the cooperative plans to acquire collective mechanical dryers in order to support farmers during periods of heavy rain, as well as for high production during the more intense parts of the harvest.
Presently, Rutas del Inca is backed by strategic allies that support the cooperative though technical assistance, Fairtrade 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.
- Varietals: Typica, Caturra, Paches, and Bourbon
- Location: Querocoto, Chota, Cajamarca
- Altitude: 1,800 - 2,400 meters
- Coffee Process: Washed
- Certifications: Organic