We'll be honest, we bought this coffee cause it's kinda punk rock... And because it's always exciting to taste a completely new varietal! Let us explain. Marcelino Chinguel discovered this varietal of coffee tree that he hadn't seen before, so he had it tested, and found out he'd discovered a new varietal. Here's the punk part: he named it "Marshel" after himself! We appreciate the chutzpah so much that we bought a bag even though the raw coffee was super expensive per kg. To be honest, this coffee has a really unique set of flavors, but it's not the flavor bomb of our La Sierra Pink Bourbon or something like that. We think it tastes like ripe Groundcherries, Breadfruit, and Oude Genever. Fantastic stuff, but we're selling it at slim margins and think you should buy it to taste a completely unique varietal, to support an amazing farmer, and to support his punk rock attitude to naming coffees. Power to the farmers!
We sourced this coffee with our friends from Falcon coffee, who have REALLY focussed on the Peruvian origin and invested in not only the quality of coffee, but quality of life there.
Don Marcelino Chinguel had been growing coffee for most of his life, well over forty years, despite that he is always willing to explore and change his way of thinking, and this lot represent that spirit, this is the first lot produced by the Marshell variety that Marcelino planted on his farm. On the farm, La Lucuma, Marcel lives with his family and they are taking care of most of the work that needs to be carried out, hiring eight pickers only during the harvest. Within the family, they spread the workload into specific areas of responsibility. Marcelino is taking care of the administration and sales duties, his wife manages the post-harvesting protocols, Franklin the oldest son is in charge of the picking, and the youngest son Yocner is the QC manager.
This lot his process as natural and after picking is hand-sorted, floated, and left to rest for 16 hours before being laid out to dry on raised beds in the solar drier for around 20 to 30 days.
Alongside Honduras, Peru has historically been regarded as the discount Latin American origin of unremarkable and often unreliable quality. This reputation and its accompanying price discount are the results of supply chains focused on large volumes based on aggregated quality, built to serve roasters seeking value over remarkable coffee. This happens at the expense of Peruvian farmers who don’t reap the rewards of higher income through improved quality. We believe that Peru has the potential to match up on quality to any of its origin counterparts in Latin America. We set out to prove this. The altitude of the Andes combined with rich volcanic soils and tropical rainfall means that Peru has the ideal topography and climate for producing high-quality Arabica coffee. We identified the problem as post-harvest processing. Farmers had received little to no training on the chemistry and precision required to maximise the quality of their coffees. We realised that if we provided training that demanded attention to detail, we would need to offer a financial incentive to reward those farmers who made the effort.
In 2018 Falcon Peru SARL was registered as an export company and we opened a small warehouse with QC lab in the northern coffee town of Jaen, Cajamarca. Farmers bring their dry parchment to the warehouse for quality analysis, some tasting their own coffees for the first time. They receive a cup score and an offer price immediately, which they can accept or refuse. In 2019 and 2020, on average Falcon paid double the commercial rate for parchment in Jaen. In 2018 we established Falcon Coffees Peru with an initial intake of partnerships with 35 farmers. These farmers were selected based on their potential and willingness to produce outstanding qualities, and most were based in an area called Huabal. As of 2022 Falcon Coffees Peru is
· 275 producers across 15 districts in Cajamarca.
· 3 producer associations.
· 10 full-time employees, 50% female.
In 2022 we focussed on improving our operations and technical activities. This has allowed us to increase volumes and develop the in-house facilities at our dedicated warehouse space. As many smallholder producers lack on-farm drying infrastructure to dry their coffee properly, we also installed additional drying facilities close to the warehouse to enable producers to achieve optimum moisture levels and lock in cup quality that would otherwise be lost where coffee cannot be dried properly.
In the Autumn of 2022, Peru was selected as the first origin at which to begin conducting in depth field research into carbon emission at farm level as part of our Carbon Project. (https://www.falconcoffees.com/beginning-the-knowledge-transfer-project/) From the end of October, we will continue training producers on best practice for fertiliser application as well as assist producers in diversifying varietals on their farms. As Falcon controls the supply chain from farmer to your door, these coffees qualify for our Blueprint Project label, where we can provide economic transparency data for every household that provided you with the coffee you purchased.