Peru Coffee Regions
Coffee growing happens all across Peru. There are 10 main regions growing coffee that are part of the North (4), Central (3), and South (3).
Before we explore each and every region, you may ask yourself how Peru can have so many regions from top to bottom of the country, all producing high quality coffee?
Well, what’s common between all of the regions is their close proximity to the Andes mountains, providing each and every area near to it with fertile soils and high altitude. Perfect coffee growing conditions.
Data sources and image credits can be found at the end of this article.
South Peru Coffee Growing Regions
Farthest south we have Puno. Famous for Lake Titicaca, the largest freshwater lake in South America and Hayumarca, an enormous stone portal where local legend has it that it can lead to another world!
This region is so high up that Lake Titicaca is the highest lake in the world at around 3810 masl (metres above sea level). Altitude is a key factor in coffee growing so this definitely puts Puno in a place to grow some lovely cherries.
How much coffee is grown in Puno?
Puno has 10,858 coffee growing hectares producing 6,940 tons of coffee every year.
Much of this coffee is grown by smallholder farmers who are part of co-operatives such as Central de Cooperativas Valle del Sandia (CECOVASA).
They are famous for their Tunki Coffee, which is very popular in the US, Europe and UK.
CECOVASA promote sustainable agriculture and agroforestry through education and research to their members. They have projects in Puno that also grow quinoa, a staple crop in that region and throughout the Andes.
The Sandia Valley is home to a wealth of 1900+ masl coffees. CECOVASA has nearly 1,000 members in Sandia as well as other areas in Puno such as Tambopara and Inambari. They started producing organic Peruvian coffee in 1997 and by 2000 they were exporting it across the world. CECOVASA are largely responsible for the coffee coming out of Puno having all the Fair Trade, Organic and Rainforest Alliance certifications.
Caturra and Typica are the most common coffee varieties. Bourbon has also started to become more popular in Puno since an initiative by the UN in the 1980s encouraged farmers to plant this variety.
What are the best coffees from Puno?
A notable and famous coffee that has come from Puno is that from Vicentina Phocco Palero. She is a coffee farmer from Alto Inambari, a district that is part of the Sandia province. She works with a cooperative called Tupac Amaru and in 2018 their coffee was chosen as having the best quality at the Global Speciality Coffee Expo in Seattle in 2018. Vicentina produces Catimor, Typica, Pache, and Bourbon coffee varieties and has achieved 88.5 cupping points.
Puno is very high up in the mountains. It actually has the highest inhabited settlement in the world, La Rinconada is home to about 40,000 people living at 5,100 masl! This town is mostly for miners who work in that area but where the coffee is grown is mainly in Sandia which can range from 1,500-2,000 masl.
In short, Puno is one of the coffee world’s most remote and under-explored areas. Few coffees come from Puno but when they do, they’re award winners.
What is the coffee flavour profile from Puno?
Cusco is the most famous city in Peru by far. It’s known for being the capital of the Inca Empire and millions of people visit every year to see Machu Picchu. It’s high up in the mountains and some areas reach 3,400 masl, making it one of the highest cities in the world.
How much coffee is grown in Cusco?
Cusco has 53,580 coffee growing hectares producing 30,381 tons of coffee per year.
There are many outstanding co-operatives and organisations that are responsible for this amount of coffee being produced in Cusco. One that has had a significant impact is called Valle Inca, founded in 2014 by Prudencio Vargas Saenz in the town of Calca.
Valle Inca has supported some of the best coffee farmers in the region in very remote places. Its aim is to support farmers by paying fair prices and improving their coffee quality, enhancing the production techniques and access to Fair Trade and Organic Certifications. The cooperative now has over 100 members and growing quickly. If you would like to try their coffee contact us here.
Cusco has a couple of known coffee growing areas, Calca is one and this is one you can pass through when doing the Inka Trek, the other, La Convencion is just past Machu Picchu.
Many of the farms in these areas are above 2,000 masl and are high in the mountains in very remote areas.
What are the best coffees from Cusco?
Coffee from Cusco has won many national and international awards which has propelled this area to a level of prestige. A lot of the Cup of Excellencewinners in Peru are from Cusco.
Many of the winners have been rewarded with 90+ score coffees which is absolutely incredible!
The 2020 and 2021 Cup of Excellence winners won with 90+ point Geisha, both from La Convencion. The winner of 2021, Dwight Aguilar Masiasbecame the first two time winner of the competition.
An organisation that has helped many of the winning coffee producers from Cusco improve their quality and yield is Three Monkeys Coffee. They have coffee shops in Cusco city centre as well as a wide network of people sharing their expertise across the coffee growing regions in Cusco. Founded in 2013 by three friends who set out on a mission to bring the best coffee to the city of coffee. It’s safe to say they have achieved this mission and more.
What’s the coffee flavour profile for Cusco?
In the south east of Peru is Ayacucho. Famous for the Battle of Ayacucho which was the final battle of the Peruvian War of Independence, back in 1824!
How much coffee is grown in Ayacucho?
Ayacucho has 5,866 coffee growing hectares producing 3,875 tons of coffee per year.
The Agrarian Coffee Cooperative of the Apurimac River Valley (CACVRA) is one of the biggest cooperatives in Ayacucho. They are responsible for much of the coffee coming out of Ayacucho and were formed over 50 years ago in 1969!
The members of cooperatives are smallholder farmers that live in rural areas that surround the Apurimac Valley. This area of Peru was severely impacted in the 1980’s by political conflict and it’s only been in the last few decades that it’s started to export the coffee and cacao that grows in this region.
Other endeavors of coffee cooperatives include giving out small loans known as microfinance, CACVRA offer this as well as other benefits such as supporting the smallholder farmers to diversify their crops into avocado, cacao and other fruits, along with coffee. Over time this impact has helped improve communities in rural Ayacucho with education, healthcare and improving coffee quality.
Another important cooperative in the region of Ayacucho is El Quinacho. They are located in the Valley of the Rivers Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro (VRAEM).
This area is on the border of Ayacucho and Cusco and connects three rivers.
The El Quinacho cooperative was founded in the 1970s and currently has around 450 active partners throughout the valleys, with a mix of conventional and organic smallholder farmers. They have Organic, Fairtrade and sustainable practice UTZ certifications.
What are the best coffees from Ayacucho?
Even though Ayacucho is a small coffee growing region compared to others in Peru, it is growing in importance and soon they will have award winning coffees.
Pedro Nahui Atao is an ambassador for coffee in Ayacucho. He works with smallholder farmers to improve their coffee quality and will be a key reason in the development of high quality coffees in the region. In the VRAEM area, the coffee leaf rust really hurt the area and deterred many from growing coffee.
The push from the central government in Peru incentivised smallholder farmers to grow coffee again but particularly Catimor, an Arabica variety that has higher resistance to the rust but lower quality in the cup. However, Pedro has started to work with the smallholder farmers to increase the production of higher scoring varieties such as Typica and Caturra.
It will only be a matter of time before a coffee from Ayacucho is entered into the cup of excellence and it will be amazing to see all the hard work pay off.
What’s the coffee flavour profile for Ayacucho?
Central Peru Coffee Growing Regions
Junin has a variety of landscapes, including mountains, valleys, lakes, and forests. It’s famous for Lake Junin or Chinchaycocha as it’s the largest lake entirely in Peru, unlike Lake Titikaka which spreads across Peru and Bolivia.
The mountain and jungle areas are where the coffee grows, between the abundant valleys and gorges it has, the temperature averages 77 degrees, making an ideal coffee growing environment.
How much coffee is grown in Junin?
One of the most populous areas in Peru for coffee growing, Junin, has nearly 80,000 coffee growing hectares producing around 47,000 tons of coffee every year. You may be familiar with areas such as Chanchamayo and Satipo, two amazing areas growing coffee.
Chancamayo is a province that is at 1350 masl, it grows mainly Caturra, Catimor and Typica and is known for being quite fruity with chocolate and caramel notes. Satipo on the other hand is a much larger province, the largest in Junin and grows much more coffee.
There are many notable co-operatives and people working in coffee and cacao throughout Junin that are worth mentioning. Kaffee Satipo is one of those and they were set up to manage community coffee projects. They have had great success with scoring high coffees in the Cup of Excellence awards, as well as exporting a high number of volumes around the world.
We reached out to Kaffee Satipo in early 2022 to make sure we tried some of their delicious coffee and have samples now available.
An older co-operative in the region known for high quality coffee is Cooperative Agraria Cafetalera Pangoa (CAC Pangoa). From the Pangoa district within Satipo, this co-operative was founded in 1977 by 50 farmers. During the 1980’s they had hundreds of members and used much of their resources to build the coffee infrastructure that is still being used today.
It has had its challenges as a co-operative during the late 80s and 90s because of the internal conflict in Peru that caused the relocation of many people from the farms to the cities. Slowly but surely this is changing and in the last 20 years it’s really picked up momentum exporting high volumes of quality Peruvian coffee.
One of the biggest credits to the co-operative has been its push to members to grow coffee organically. It helped with creating programs that their members could take part in and learn how to make the switch to organic farming as well as helping with certifications that meet international organic standards.
Ahead of their time, 20 years after they were able to export organic Peruvian coffee, CAC Pangoa and its members are in a great position to diversify their income away from just coffee. From planting trees for carbon credits, growing cacao, making honey, growing trees for their timber, and most recently eco-tourism. The way the farmers and in many respects entrepreneurs of this community have not become reliant on coffee is incredible.
What are the best coffees from Junin?
Junin has had many winners from the last 4 years at the Cup of Excellence so it’s quite difficult to choose just a few! Before we highlight those winning coffees, there is a coffee that is high quality but more importantly it has a concept known as Impact Farming and is a creation of Shared-X.
The coffee which is grown in Chanchamayo, called Ashi, scores around 82-83 points and is part of Shared-X’s REDD+ Initiative, their project has the aim of combating deforestation in the Amazon.
A few of the notable Cup of Excellence winners from Junin scored between 87-88 points and a variety of washed Caturras and Geishas. One of the winners, Jimmy Marin Ciriaco, a 3rd generation coffee farmer, scored 87 with a natural Caturra and Catuai.
What’s the coffee flavour profile for Junin?
A place full of coffee growing areas. Villa Rica and Oxapampa are two of the most notable places. So much so, the Plaza de Armas (central square) in Villa Rica has a huge moka pot symbolising the history and impact coffee has had here.
Home to a number of different cultures too from different backgrounds for many years. The native Yanesha people, Andean settlers and most recently the Austro-German settlers, all living together in harmony, cultivating coffee.
The Austro-German settlers founded Oxapampa and Pozuzo and built their Bavarian type houses which you can still find today in the middle of the jungle, quite the sight! Peru isn’t known for its cheese but it’s here that you’ll likely get the best, the Bavarian practice of cheese and yoghurt can be found in Pozuzo.
How much coffee is grown in Pasco?
Pasco has 10,794 coffee growing hectares producing 10,094 tons of coffee per year.
Pasco and Junin provide over 25% of all of Peruvian quarter at 27%.
A known cooperative helping produce a lot of the coffee is Villa Rica Golden Coffee based in Villa Rica. They have over 200 members and many are traditional and third generation growers. As with being such a diverse place, the members come from different backgrounds and have their own ways of agriculture which they practise such as shade grown coffee, intercropping and other techniques that help preserve the biodiversity of the place.
Many of their members are from indigenous communities such as the Yanesha native community.
Coffee is grown from anywhere from 1000 - 1800 masl and popular varieties include Bourbon, Caturra Catimor and Pache. This cooperative is always looking to innovate with it’s farming techniques and upskill the farmers to be able offer the sustainable certifications where possible.
What are the best coffees from Pasco?
There are quite a lot of impressive coffee from Villa Rica. Our favourite have to be the biodynamic coffees from Chacra D’Dago. It’s here in Villa Rica that the only biodynamic coffee in Peru exists. They are really pushing the boundaries of coffee processing with their unique fermentation tanks and additional fermentation experiments.
They use octagon tanks, the first of any tank like this in Latin America. It’s designed by roasters in Italy and the purpose is that without corners it can ferment in a way that is complementary to the taste in the cup. Whether it’s their washed coffees with a 36 hour fermentation, the more experimental anaerobic slow dry (ASD) or their full natural, their coffee is definitely one to watch in the next few years.
They have even managed to do this with a variety that is resistant to the leaf rust (La Roya) that plagued Villa Rica only a few years ago. The Red and Yellow Obata are a Brazilian variety that are starting to grow, once again pushing the boundaries in coffee growing and processing innovation.
A way to benchmark high quality coffee is to see the winners of the Cup of Excellence, however, with Charca D’Dago, they have not participated and are under the radar, this is why we are really excited to bring their coffee to the UK.
For the winners of the Cup of Excellence, there are a quite a few from Villa Rica & Oxapampa, notably an 88.7 point washed Geisha from Gino Marin Ciriaco this has helped raise aware of the Yanesha natives as the coffee is grown in the area they live. Gino, an agricultural engineer by trade has a 13 hectare farm, growing coffee here at the farm, O´Sopen for 5 years, however, has spent his whole life being surrounded by coffee and studying this wonderful fruit.
What’s the coffee flavour profile for Pasco?
A vast region with a range of climates, to the east the Andes which has Huanuca Pampa, an Inca settlement and to the west we have Tingo Maria, a place known for it’s national parks and unique places to see some of the rarest birds in Peru.
How much coffee is grown in Huanuco?
Haunuco has 16,202 coffee growing hectares producing 7,850 tons of coffee per year.
The Dos de Mayo province of Huanuco is popular for growing coffee and this is situated just west of the Andes. The Vizcarra River runs through Huanuco and plays a key part in the coffee growing in this part of Peru.
What are the best coffees from Huanuco?
In 2020, Clomalda Salvador Valverde from Dos de Mayo province, represented women coffee growers and won alongside her husband, Primitivo Nolasco with a 87+ coffee! She has been growing her coffee at 1600 masl for over 10 years now. She has over 3 hectares of land and grows Caturra, Catimor and Geishas.
Clomada along with her husband are part of Allianza Cafe Project. This project is partnered with US and Peruvian government departments with the aim of improving coffee growing and cultivation in the region. It has worked out very well for Clomada and her family as she is now a leading coffee producer in the region and Peru.
What’s the coffee flavour profile for Huanuco?
North Peru Coffee Growing Regions
7. San Martin
Getting deep into the jungle in the North of Peru we have San Martin. With Tarapoto and Moyobamba as the most popular areas, you can go and enjoy the natural reserves, famous waterfalls and unique bird watching in this region. The capital, Moyobamba is known as the City of Orchids because it has over 3500 species!
How much coffee is grown in San Martin?
San Martin has 87,163 coffee growing hectares producing 82,319 tons of coffee per year.
It’s the third biggest coffee-producing region in Peru and is continually growing. A larger cooperative that is growing in members and exporting more and more high quality and certified organic coffee from San Martin is Oro Verde.
This cooperative has been around for over 20 years and supports over 1000 farmers who grow coffee and cacao. The majority of the farms they work with are family owned and have less than 2 hectares of land.
Another large cooperative that is based in the capital of San Martin, Moyobamba, is Coop Aproeco. They have members who are from San Martin, the Amazonas and into Cajamarca, the neighbouring region. Founded in 2008, they have been helping local farmers cultivate coffee and promoting sustainable agriculture while doing so.
With nearly 500 members and over half with organic certifications, this has set a high quality and standard of the coffee which mostly goes up for export to countries all around the world.
Aproeco also has its own brand of coffee which they roast and package, selling in Lima and across the towns in San Martin. This part of the cooperative is complementary to their members’ coffee cultivation because they can share the learnings and understanding of coffee roasting and how different flavours can be expressed through this process.
What are the best coffees from San Martin?
San Martin has winners from the very first Cup of Excellence that took place in 2017. Nerio Collates Herrero from Moyobamba scored an 87 with a washed Caturra and Pache, finishing 15th out of 300 producers who entered.
Nerio’s farm, Las Pircas is a smaller farm with 2.25 hectares high in the mountains at 1670 masl. Nerio adopts an agroforestry system to grow his coffee which not only is better for the environment and the sustainability of his farm but in this case also great for the fruit it bears.
A lot of the coffee grown in this region has undergone change with its agricultural practices because of diversification away from coca leaf. Shade grown coffee alongside cacao and honey is popular in many of the small farms.
Being able to diversify the crops has led to multiple streams of revenue for smallholder farmers, while also being able to add more nutrients back into the soil after being depleted for so long when growing just coca leaf on mass with many chemical fertilisers.
What’s the coffee flavour profile for San Martin?
The lungs of the earth! Very far North in Peru and bordering Ecuador, this region has a very important archaeological site called Kuelap, near the capital of the region, Chachapoyas. It’s also a wonderful place to view the famous Gotca waterfall and explore the natural beauty that surrounds it.
How much coffee is grown in Amazonas?
Amazonas has 53,258 coffee growing hectares producing 34,966 tons of coffee per year.
There are many notable coffee cooperatives who are responsible for the coffee production in this region and we will showcase a few. First of all, JUMARP Coffee have exported much of their small holder farmers coffee across the world, very popular in Europe.
They were founded in 2003 by 35 small holder farmers and now it has over 200! JUMPAR have invested in their community and ability to process higher quality coffees by buying a wet mill, storage and have coupling lab infrastructure so that they can do as much as possible internally. This ability to do the processing and cupping has allowed their members to increase the quality and therefore price of the coffee grown.
JUMARP are also another co-operative that is working with agroforestry practices with the aim of doubling the income of their coffee producers by increasing the yield of the coffee cherries and encouraging the cultivation of other fruits. This project was developed by a partnership with Ecotierra, an organisation working with co-operatives and farmers in Peru to reduce deforestation.
What are the best coffees from Amazonas?
Amazonas has many high quality and award winning coffees. One story that we like is that of Tejada Alfonso fromFinca Timbuyacu and cooperative, Cafe Monteverde. Tejada, a coffee producer from Rodriguez de Mendoza produced award winning coffees on his farm and uses his farm as the model for the co-operative, Cafe Monteverde, which he shares with his wife, Karim.
They teach their co-operative members on how to grow high quality coffee, what works, what doesn’t and everything else in between. The farm is large with 68 hectares of land, planting coffee in 30 hectares and the rest devoted to forest conservation and protecting native wildlife and plant species.
In 2017, Tejada scored 87.3 points with a washed Typica and Caturra, growing at 1820 masl.
For samples of Tejada and Karim’s coffee, you can contact us here.
Another coffee producer, RoiberBecerra, part of Norcafe, won with an 89.3 washed Caturra in 2019, growing the coffee at 1800 masl. As the son of a coffee producer, Roiber is young and experienced at the same time when it comes to growing coffee.
What’s the coffee flavour profile for Amazonas?
Famous for the story of Atahualpa, the last Inca emperor who was captured in the Battle of Cajamarca by the Spanish. It is in the North of Peru and borders Ecuador. It’s blessed with a number of valleys and rivers, Andean mountain ranges that reach up to 2750 masl, no wonder it’s one of the most popular coffee growing regions in Peru.
How much coffee is grown in Cajamarca?
Cajamarca has 53,038 coffee growing hectares producing 48,182 tons of coffee per year.
There are many long standing and reputable co-operatives in Cajamarca who have played a pivotal role in coffee growing in the region, one of them being Cenfrocafe. They have helped farmers for over 20 years grow coffee and export, with a member base of 3000 farmer families.
One of the benefits that Cenfrocafe offers is that they cup and sort coffees from so many farmers yet still manage to bring consistency and quality every year. They segment their coffee based on altitude ranges and also the coffee cup scores.
When it comes to the smaller coffee producers and microlot coffees in Cajamarca, Rony Lavan from Limcof works tirelessly to bring these to a global audience. Rony has helped coffee producers grow high quality coffee, win awards and export globally.
If you want to try a coffee that Rony Lavan has helped bring to market, try our San Ignacio. A regional selection of some of the best coffee producers from the San Ignacio region in Cajamarca.
What are some of the best coffees from Cajamarca?
A coffee from Cajamarca was the first ever Peruvian Cup of Excellence winner in 2017. Juan Heredia Sanchez from Jaen, came 1st with a 92.2 washed Caturra and Bourbon, growing at 1800 masl. 11 out of the 19 winners from 2017 were all from Cajamarca.
Every year since there has been coffee from Cajamarca winning and competing at the highest level in Peru. It’s a wonderful and gifted part of the world to grow coffee.
Grimanes Morales Lizana is another high scoring 90+ coffee producer from Cajamarca. A lucky story of how the winning coffee was a variety that managed to survive a disease that killed all other varieties on her farm. This variety is called Marshell, also known as Costa Rica 95. She was also the first female winner of the competition.
A young coffee producer from Jaen who took part in the 2020 Cup of Excellence award was Edwar Toro Goicochea. His farm, Caminos Del Inca is in the Diamante area of Jaén, Cajamarca and is at 1750 masl. The coffee which came second was a washed Caturra and Catuai scoring 89.5 points.
We have access to samples for this coffee and if it's of interest, you can contact us here.
What’s the coffee flavour profile for Cajamarca?
The final coffee producing region that also borders Ecuador in the North of Peru. Not usually known for coffee and more known for cacao, especially its unique “cacao blanco” variety. Mancora is a popular tourist spot in Piura with the lovely beaches and is a surfers paradise!
Piura is a semi-tropical climate among steep "inter-Andean" valleys at 900-2,000 metres. Most coffee grows in the province of Huancabamba. The most common varieties are Typica, Caturra, and Catimor.
How much coffee is grown in Piura?
Piura has 7,979 coffee growing hectares producing 3,044 tons of coffee per year.
A few of the key co-operatives supporting coffee producers in this region work across Piura and Cajamarca, Amazonas and San Martin.
Cooperativa Agricola de Servicisios Norandino (Norandino) is a co-operative that supports three regional neighbouring; Cepicafe, Cenfrocafe and Sol y Cafe. They combined to create a 7000+ member co-operative that cultivates coffee over 25,000 hectares!
Combining all of their resources together, now Norandino can offer increased traceability by being able to account where across the regions the coffee is coming from, what coffee producers are involved and bundle all of that coffee into specific blends. All with the aim of improving quality in the cup which they do at their fully staffed and certified SCA cupping lab.
Cepicafe, one of the three co-operatives part of Norandino, is based in Piura. They are small in comparison to the other two, Cenfrocafe and Sol y Cafe as they are mainly supporting small coffee producers in the areas that grow coffee in Piura, as mostly it is desert and beaches, so only a small area that is closest to Cajamarca grows coffee. Even though they are small, they have been involved in coffee since 1995. They help with micro finance and giving small loans to coffee producers as well as technical assistance, marketing and enabling farmers to access organic, fair trade and rainforest alliance certifications.
As a co-operative they go quite above and beyond what is expected. They have been involved in local projects in Piura helping build schools and creating better infrastructure for their farmer families. Education is key in helping their community increase their quality of life for themselves and their children.
What are the best coffees from Piura?
Compared to other regions, Piura is not as popular and therefore does not have as many award winning coffees. However, last year in 2021, Jose Felimon Tineo Guerrero was part of the Cup of Excellence and won the National Winners awards. This is a sign that coffee growing in Piura is improving in quality.
Jose, scored 86.6 with a washed Typica, his farm is at around 1400 masl.
Coffee growing in Piura is definitely one to watch out for considering the low amount of coffee grown there and the high quality of cacao that it produces, only a matter of time before the coffee quality starts to become recognised.
What’s the coffee flavour profile for Piura?
2. Each cooperative Instagram account was used to find pictures of the cooperative coffees.
3. For everything else images were sourced from the incredible and informational Cafelab.pe
We hope you found this useful! As you can see, it's quite the country for coffee, so many regions and so many options. Start today and see what you can get delivered this week!