One of the most overwhelming experiences we had in Peru was visiting the Norandino Dry Mill in Piura. In Peru, most coffee is depulped and washed at a farm level, but the final step of processing, removing the parchment from the seed, is done at large dry mills. Norandino is considered one of the best and Cenfrocafe, Peru's leading specialty coffee co-op, uses them exclusively for their top microlots. Norandino has the added advantage of being only 45 minutes from the nearest port, which means farmers can rest assured nothing will happen to their coffee between processing and shipping.
After the parchment is removed the coffee is sorted by size and defects are removed. Then it is placed in the GrainPro jute bags that we will receive.
An operation as large as Norandino is hard for a microroaster such as ourselves to comprehend. The team here can mill an entire shipping container in two hours. During harvest season more coffee passes through this mill everyday than Quills will roast in a year.
After visiting Norandino, we better understand why many mills are reluctant to do microlots. It takes hard work and careful planning to keep the lots separate. It's much easier to blend everyone's coffee together and get a more generic product. Craft coffee is the result of hard work and intentional effort in every step of the supply chain. Without mills like Norandino we couldn't bring you the high quality of coffee you've come to expect from Quills.