The coffee growing regions of Puno are well off the beaten path. Its a lengthy, arduous journey out to the area but well worth the effort. Coffee grows in a large range of altitude from 1200 masl to above 2000 masl. Farms are more garden-like than what is commonly found in Latin America. Match that idea with heirloom Typica varietals making up the mass of the plantings and tremendous shade and you have a coffee growing region eerily reminiscent of Ethiopia. 'Lots #2 & #5' is a reference to two different lots from two different producers in Puno. There is an annual cupping competition in Peru for the best coffees of the country. Prior to the national competition a competition is held in each of the three major growing regions in the North, Central and Southern parts of Peru's Andean interior. This combined lot represents the 2nd and 5th place coffees in the Southern competition. Virtually as good as it gets in the south. The similarity between the two in flavor profile was uncanny so we decided to blend them together and make them one. Both farmer manually depulp their coffee beans from cherries using hand-crank devices before fermenting in small tanks overnight, washing the same tanks and then drying their parchment coffee on communal patios at the cooperative.
Puno Lots #2 & #5 is a coffee accentuated by sweetness and a subtle floral note that lingers beautifully behind it. Brown sugar and chocolate are most apparent in the dry fragrance. The crust and break on this coffee have a darker sweetness like high percentage cacao, raw tobacco and burnt sugar. There is an almond characteristic similar to amaretto that stays the course on this coffee from the time the is first tasted until it cools that is very pleasant. It melds seamlessly with the cacao note that also maintains a presence from start to finish. As the city roast cools a floral, peach tea flavor develops that ties all of the warm nuttiness, cacao and sugar browning notes together. This is a coffee that doesn't appear bright at first but has a lovely, noticeable acidity to it as it cools. This strikes me as a perfect morning coffee with just enough complexity, to go with its great sweetness and balance, to keep things interesting.