When coffee was introduced in Peru in the late 1700’s, it took the country by storm and has been a staple agricultural export for the country ever since. Peru is the 9th largest coffee exporter worldwide, and the 3rd largest South American exporter. About 200,000 farms throughout the country produce the coffee, with growing not limited to just certain regions (like other countries) and this giving them a leg up in the industry. Coffee is currently grown in both the northern and southern regions.
Unlike most other coffee, Peruvian coffee can be a bit difficult to profile, as its taste and quality vary so greatly. There are several reasons for this quality variance:
1. Peru has no set standard for the way coffee is produced on the small farms. This means coffee can range in taste from poor and earthy tasting to rich, flavorful, and rustic.
2. While coffee being grown throughout the country, and not just in limited regions, can be a positive thing for production, it also means that the taste of coffee varies drastically not just from farm to farm, but from region to region.
3. Some farms are focused on quality over quantity, however Peru is notoriously known to focus more on producing as much coffee as possible at the lowest price. Which often rears its ugly head in the coffee taste.
The last point made, in regards to quantity over quality, not only presents a problem for Peru and how their coffee is perceived, but it produces an international problem. Since often times Peruvian coffee undercuts the majority of its competition’s pricing, it means smaller farmers from other countries find it often extremely difficult to sell their higher quality coffee because they can’t meet or beat Peru’s pricing.
All in all, Peru has some great coffee, and certainly has coffee in abundance, however you sometimes have to search a bit harder to find a good cup worth buying and drinking.