Tucked away in the mountainous landscape of Peru, in the department of Chirinos, sits the coffee producing cooperative La Prosperidad. Almost 50 years old and with more than 700 members, La Prosperidad is a terrific example of a self-sufficient cooperative.
You may recall that in January of 2016, Colectivo offered coffee from Peru Chirinos and included a $1 giveback to the co-op for every pound sold.
Our co-fund project aided construction of covered drying patios for our friends at La Prosperidad. The patios would allow small farmers further control over drying temperatures, shield coffees from the elements, and ultimately lead to significant improvements in coffee quality.
We’re excited to share the successful results of the project with you! With the construction of these patios, the Chirinos community will be producing higher quality coffee for decades to come. How do these covered drying patios impact the coffee’s flavor and quality? Let’s take a look at the process…
* Washing the Coffee *
Seeds from the coffee cherry contain 60% moisture after they are picked, depulped, and washed. If the seeds aren’t dried to 10-13% quickly, they begin to absorb surrounding aromas, which will devastate quality.
* Concrete Patio Drying *
There are various ways to dry coffee seeds, but most commonly they are laid out under the sun on large concrete patios and turned with a rake. Though this method is inexpensive, it can be inefficient, especially if it rains. Coffees dried this way absorb unwanted aromas and flavors from their surroundings.
* Covered Raised Patio Drying – a better method *
Covered drying patios can increase a coffee’s consistency and quality. Within La Prosperidad Cooperative, we see a clear difference between coffees from members like Juan Lizana and Percy Cruz – who dry their coffees in covered patios – and the cooperative members who still use concrete patios.
* How the Colectivo Co-fund Project is helping *
• 20 producers who focus on offering their coffees as micro-lots will receive materials to build a drying patio
• 1 large covering will be built at the co-op headquarters
• La Prosperidad Cooperative matched our contribution AND more. The current projection has the project being funded 55% by the co-op and 45% by Colectivo.
Colectivo’s Co-Fund Projects help us develop close ties to our producer partners. As a result, we are able to source exceptional coffees, and also directly impact the everyday lives of individuals who are part of coffee producing communities. Thank you, again, from all of us at Colectivo.