This coffee is from Chacra D’Dago, the only biodynamic coffee farm in all of Peru. The farm is around 1550-1600m located in Palomar, 30 minutes from Villa Rica, a famous coffee town in Central Peru.
Dagoberto Marin is a trailblazer in Peru for the way he has grown coffee over the last 20 years. Following in the footsteps of his father growing coffee, he decided to divert from the conventional approach to growing coffee (heavy use of fertiliser, monocrop farm) to a biodynamic approach (purely fertiliser from the farm and a diverse range of crops). The Marin family have around 15 hectares with different plots growing different coffee.
The story of Chacra D’Dago and their biodynamic creations
In 2005 the company 'La Chacra D Dago' was founded.
In Peru, La Chacra means a small plantation, it can be coffee or other crops, however, La Chacra has another meaning that is oriented to the energy fields spoken of and known more in Eastern cultures.
La Chacra D Dago is a 3rd generation company in coffee production, however there are also 3 generations with 3 different farming methods which help explain the development into biodynamic farming.
1st generation in 1950s used conventional agriculture where more focus was on production than quality, with chemical methods.
2nd generation in 1990s went with organic agriculture, using 100% organic methods, caring for the flora and fauna of the forest and coffee crops.
3rd generation started in 2005 with biodynamic agriculture using the practices of Dr. Rudolf Steiner. Going further than organic practices, now they use the astronomical calendar for fertilisation and compost.
What was the fermentation process?
The Marin family are specialists when it comes to the fermentation process. Hector Marin, the eldest son is responsible for the coffee processings, quality control and experimenting with new processes.
First the harvest is all selective and done by hand with no machinery used at all. This helps to screen the quality once it gets to the beneficio (processing plant) which has many steps to screen the cherries to make sure only the ripest, clean, free of defect cherries make it through to the drying stage.
At the top of their beneficio they have a dry area where they check by eye what cherries are ripe and red. All of those that don’t qualify this manual eye test are taken out and placed in an area for seconds. For those cherries left, water is passed through them and this is the second part of quality control. They look for those cherries that float and also discard them into the area of seconds.
After this 2 step process, the coffee cherries that are ready to be dried have the highest potential of giving a full flavour and are then ready to be washed, pulped and stored in a concrete tank for 76 hours, followed by being dried on African beds for 10 - 15 days.
How does Khipu Coffee know the producer?
We know this producer through Cesar Marin, the second eldest son. As we were researching coffee producers in Peru, we found Cesar through Instagram and connected that way. What interested us the most about Chacra D’Dago was that it’s the only biodynamic farm in Peru and the families ethos and belief in the biodynamic teachings.
What certifications does this coffee have?
This coffee is certified organic and certified biodynamic. The Chacra D’Dago farm is very strict and consistent with the fertilisers they use and with it being biodynamic certified, Demeter, the German based certification body, makes sure that all fertilisers are from the farm and used at certain times of the year in specific ways.
The fertiliser comes from a variety of different sources throughout the farm. They have their compost heaps that are made from chicken, pigs and guinea pig manure, along with a whole host of organic materials from across the farm.
Their biodynamic preparations are also a big factor in their fertilising, they use these at certain times of the year and alongside their intercropping systems and native trees, provide the most nutrition and protection to the soil.
It’s the combination of the farm grown fertiliser and the design of their farm that allows them to grow super organic coffee and at the same time protect and nourish the soil year on year for consistent, high quality coffee, every year.
Frequently Asked Questions
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