You may associate Peru with a lot of things, such as Inca Cola, the Cuy, and the surprisingly diverse and exotic cuisines from various regions of Peru. However, you may not associate this Latin American country with coffee or coffee production. You will be surprised to learn that Peru is one of the top 20 coffee producers in the world, and is known to export the supreme Arabica beans to the international market.
Coffee requires a cool and humid climate, and Peru has a lot of such regions where coffee can grow, thanks to the rolling mountain slopes and hills. While coffee production is often overshadowed by neighbors such as Brazil, Columbia, and even Venezuela, Peruvian coffee has a story and taste of its own. The Agricultural ministry has begun to encourage farmers in the Jaen region of the Andes to grow coffee, while it is also being grown in northern Peru. A few other regions where coffee is cultivated in Peru include Sandia, Carabaya, and the valleys of Chanchamayu.
An interesting time to visit Peru if you are a coffee lover is during May and September, when farmers literally cherry-pick coffee beans, process them themselves, and travel to the nearest town where they sell their coffee in the town’s main plaza. They use their income to purchase goods in the town and return to their villages. Unfortunately, many farmers do not get a good price for their coffee, and middlemen purchase their beans for throwaway prices, only to sell the very same beans as high-end and exotic products elsewhere in the world, at eye watering prices.
If you are a coffee lover, make sure that you spend a week or two at the Chanchamayo valley, where you can interact with local farmers and learn how they grow their coffee. The valleys are located 200 miles east of Lima, and are high up in the mountains. This sort of trip would be something different, and you will enjoy discovering a different side to Peru.