So the story goes like this: Last October a fellow cupper, Geoff Watts, invited me to join the jury at the Peru Concurso de Calidad IV in Lima, a coffee competition of national lots. There is so much potential in Peru; great cultivar (Typica), incredible altitude, dedicated farmers. But one of the biggest issues is the coops, who are extremely competitive and have not, as of yet, found a way to unite and support an all-Peru competition. The second issue is the farms in Villa Rica, different than the rest of the small-holder farms in the rest of Peru, these are large old-money plantations that do not share the same goals as much of the Peru industry. The third issue is the lack of a strong, central coffee association that can bring all these varied members together. And perhaps the final issue is a warehouse and export trade, which is not very interested in small lots, not interested in working in a new way to help preserve coffee quality (new packaging methods, etc), and dominated by one company that handles 48% of Peru's coffee. So it is a tough situation, and ultimately the coffee industry in Peru fails to help the lowest links in the chain, the community coffee farmer, to get better prices for coffee cherry. Why? Because beyond Organic certifications, and beyond Fair Trade, there are the price benefits that comes from roasters and consumers who recognize better cup quality. A real Peru competition would allow the quality of Peru coffee speak for itself, influence coffee buyers, and shift the perception of Peru coffee. It would also provide a new model for the correct harvesting, fermentation, drying, milling, sorting, warehousing and transporting of coffee. I realize, I have some strong opinions about Peru coffee, about the problems here, and the way the coffee trade could change ... but only because I see the great potential from what we cupped here at the competition. This was my favorite lot. The farmer is Inocencio Flores and it is from San Jorge Cecovasa cooperative mill. The dry fragrance has a dark toffee-like sweetness, and caramel apple. It's really attractive! Add the hot water, and the wet aroma is (again) very caramel-like and the Full City roast has a great berry tone to it. In cupping, I ended up preferring the C+ roast over all the others. This coffee is bright, and develops dark fruited notes in FC to FC+ roast range that are not present at C+. There's a dryness to the finish of the light roasts, a hint of hay perhaps, that is gone at FC levels. As it cools, there is a Turbinado sugar sweetness, and raisin fruit notes. It's a tiny, tiny amount of coffee that was shipped in foil bag packaging to preserve freshness. I think it's really outstanding.