Toro de Oro - Cajamarca, Peru
LOCATION: San Ignacio and Jaen, Cajamarca
ELEVATION: 1650 - 2000 masl
VARIETIES: Caturra, Bourbon, Typica, and Pache
HARVEST: June - October 2022
SHADE TREES: Aliso, Cedar, Romerillos, Guabas and other native trees.
AVERAGE FARM SIZE: 3 Hectares
Coffee used to create the Toro de Oro community lot is grown on small farms located along the highlands that pass through several provinces of Cajamarca. Most of the cities and town in the area were founded by Spanish people such as Jaen in the XVIth century by Spanish army captain Diego Palomino or Cajamarca which was founded in the XVIth century but was already a town for the Incas. The Spanish at that time where mad about finding gold that they were told by word of mouth and myths that was found in abundance. One of such myths was the Toro de Oro, Golden Bull, which lived high up in the mountains in a lake and left pieces of gold inside the caves. Once some Spanish conquistadores tried to grab it but were dragged by it to the bottom of the lake, never to be seen again. There are even stories in the XXth century of people working in that area that have seen the shining bull during the night near the lake.
The geographic location of the farms in this region offers favorable conditions to produce coffee thanks to farm’s significant altitude, good soil and great climate. It has important areas such as the Huamantanga Forest, National Sanctuary Tabaconas – Namballe, Chaupe, Cunja and Chinchiquilla Forests, paramos (Andean moors), dry forest of Marañon and mountains that affect positively the coffee farms having the ideal agroclimatic conditions.
Coffee farmers contributing to Toro de Oro are from the department of Cajamarca, which has become the biggest coffee producing region in Peru since 2020, and in many of the districts in the department coffee is the main economic activity and agricultural product to move on forwards. The farmers who contribute to Toro de Oro process their coffee washed, learned through generations.
These families have been in coffee for a long time, with some of the farms being established by their grandparents in 1980 and dedicated from the beginning to the production of coffee. Through generations they have been motivated to search for quality coffee seeing how the market has. The newer generations have started to attend workshops, searching for information online and asking seasoned and experienced neighbors to be able to improve their processes. They always value the
resources generated in the same farm and giving them an adequate management. The producers also receive personalized visits from the PECA Educators and workshops to produce organic fertilizers using the organic waste from the kitchen and pulping. This strategy has aided in diminishing the volume of chemical fertilizers used to not depend as much from them.
The coffee producing families of the regions of Cajamarca cultivate cacao and coffee based on an agroforestry system, which has allowed them to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG). Interesting, 90% of Peruvian coffee is grown under shade.
The producers who contribute to Toro de Oro, process their coffee fully
washed. It all starts with the cherry-picking of ripe cherries, in which they are
aided by family members or neighbors from the area. At the micro wet-mills on
the farms, the cherries are floated to clean the coffee from foreign materials
such as leaves and take out the lower density cherries (dry and not well developed). After, the cherries are pulped without water. As per the fermentation
following pulping, some producers do it in tightly sealed bags while others do
it the traditional open-air tanks. The hours of fermentation vary according to
the climatic conditions and elevations of each farm but tend to be substantially
longer than on conventional farms, ranging from 30 to 50 hours being done
without water. After fermentation, the beans are washed 3 times and then
taken to the drying beds. Afterward, the coffee is taken to the drying beds
where it going to stay from 20 to 25 days depending on the climate to reach
the humidity a humidity level between 10% to 11%.
Afterwards, the parchment coffee is taken to either the purchasing station in
Chirinos or Jaen, where the Quality Analyst receives it and the coffee goes first
through a physical analysis where the humidity is measured, water activity,
percentages left on each screen and defects. Then, the coffee goes through a
sensory analysis to identify the quality grade and hence inform the producer.
The purchased coffee is then delivered to the mill, and when ready, sent to port