Peru Alfonzo Rafael Cordova

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Historically, coffees from Peru have been mild, causing them to be overlooked for more dynamic coffees from their neighbors like Colombia and Ecuador. Developments in processing and growing techniques have transformed the Peruvian specialty coffee market within the past five years, causing the quality and price of the coffees to rise. Alfonso Rafael is the perfect example of an up and coming Peruvian coffee producer. Alfonso owns a 3.5-hectare farm in North Peru, located within the Cajamarca region. The post-harvest processing at Finca La Primavera is unique; the seeds are fermented dry for twenty-four hours, then washed multiple times to remove any mucilage that is left. The resulting coffee produces an intense acidity that reminds us of apples and citrus, which is quickly becoming the new taste profile of Peruvian coffees.    


Processing in coffee refers to the conversion of the raw coffee cherry into green coffee, a finished product for roasters to manipulate. Washed coffee can also be known as “wet processed.” It refers to the removal of the fruit that covers the beans (seeds) before they are laid to dry. To do this coffee cherries are then squeezed through a screen called a pulper. The fruit/skin travels down one shoot, while the coffee beans go into a large tank. The seeds at this point still are covered in a sticky, mucilage-like substance, think the stringy fruit left on a peach pit.From here the coffee goes through a 24-hour fermentation. This step is a delicate time in processing where bacteria is eating and converting the mucilage and changing the flavor of the coffee. If this fermentation happens for too long and the coffee becomes vinegary, too little and you end up drying coffee with mucilage semi-intact. The coffee is washed several times to remove any remaining mucilage that is left.    


ESPRESSO - Modbar EPBrew Temp: 198°F, Line Pressure: ~3.5 bars, Max Pressure: 9 bars, Pressure Profile: 0 s to 4 s - line pressure, from 4 s on - 9 bars    


Peru Alfonzo Rafael Cordova This coffee is from our friends Noah and Omar at Cafe Imports. It was a nice find that’ll help us until this harvest’s coffees arrive. We ended up purchasing ten 69-kilo bags for $4.55/lb. We cupped it at 87.25.   - The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $0.92/lb when we purchased this coffee. - The Fair Trade Coffee minimum price was $1.60/lb when we purchased this coffee.   * We as a company believe transparency is unbelievably important. However, we decided only to list what is shown here because we don’t know where to stop. Do we list the amount of coffee lost in roasting due to moisture loss? Should we list our roaster Mark's salary? The warehouse rent? The utilities? The point of listing things above is not to justify what we charge or what we profit, but to give a realistic snapshot of the industry and how Specialty Coffee can be different than other commodity industries. If you have concerns feel free to email us and I’ll write you back when I’m available.  - Jon  


Relationship Coffee is an initiative we, at Onyx, have purposely created to describe our sourcing and buying practices and how we document them. Certifications like Direct Trade, Fair Trade, and others have impacted the coffee communities in mostly positive ways but also in some negative ways. We find that blanket terms and applying them to a multitude of business models no longer describes what we do.   In reality, every company is different, and we wanted to step out from the mold and create a new set of standards that exceeds in every department from quality to transparency to pricing. The growers, exporters, importers, associations, cooperatives, and other entities are always a set of relationships. To be honest, many are our friends as much as they are our producers and partners. We share information, family news, meals, housing, many faiths, and argue politics. Oh, and we love it. Relationship Coffee for Onyx is the mark of an honest exchange ethos that permeates our company, and we hope it encourages the growth of specialty coffee for the future.  


We visited the farm or cupping lab and listened to the producer/agronomist or head cooperative/association to ascertain better knowledge about the culture and practices. We cupped the coffee, and it scored to our industry-high standards. We do not buy futures or multiple harvests to ensure that what we cupped for that year is what we serve. We do not ask for exclusivity from producers, binding their options. We pay what the coffee is worth. This always is at least double Fair Trade minimum due to the quality we buy, and many times is three to ten times the amount. We do not finance any coffee. Cash flow is just as important as the final price. Coffee is paid in full upon delivery, and we pay a percentage up front upon contracting.  We are completely transparent from price to logistics to cupping score, to who we work with buying and shipping coffee. We work to set premiums after a contracted price to incentivize quality and community building. This can be .10¢ - .25¢ extra per pound or community projects such as school supplies in the growing village, sports jerseys, vented chimneys for kitchen fires, etc.

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