Last September we traveled 3,300 miles to Northern Peru to bring you the best coffees from the region. After sampling 40 different microlots, two coffees stood out from the pack. One of those coffees was from Finca El Laurel, the farm of Wilson Olivera. After tasting Wilson's coffee on the cupping table, we knew we had to meet the man who produced it.
Situated at 1850 MASL, El Laurel is a difficult journey from the nearest city, Jaen. But the high elevation, cool evenings, and ample rainfall at El Laurel produce a complex coffee with an acidity rarely seen in Peruvian coffee. But it's not just the perfect climate that accounts for Wilson's fantastic quality. Wilson exclusively grows caturra and typica varieties, two coffee varieties known for their superior cup characteristics. Rather than the strip-picking common in the region, Wilson and his farmhands go over each lot on the farm four times, only picking the ripest cherries each time. Although it's more labor intensive, the result is a tastier cup of coffee.
Coffee cherries at El Laurel, at varying degrees of ripeness.
We just receive our shipment of Wilson's coffee. We were pleased to discover it didn't diminish in quality in transit. In the cup we encounter a rich butterscotch and honeyed sweetness, balanced by a crisp peach acidity. It's already become a barista favorite, and we're confident you'll love it too.
We're extremely grateful for the hospitality that Wilson showed us when we visited his farm. We hope we can pay it forward by brewing a cup for you in one of our cafés.