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  • Writer's pictureJon Ferguson

Getting To Know The Café Selva Norte Mill

As we enter the time period following the main harvest season, most of the daily activities in Jaén are focused on dry milling, continued quality control, and preparations for exportation.

This week, our blog focuses on these activities at Café Selva Norte, with information gathered from an interview with Ronal Pesantes Diaz, the Plant Manager for the Café Selva Norte dry mill based in Jaén, Peru. We hope this will provide readers with further perspective on how the Café Selva Norte dry mill operates and the services which are provided to both coffee producer and coffee buyer clients.

Café Selva Norte manages the processing of washed parchment coffee and specialty micro-lots from pre-cleaning to the final optical color sorting stages, liner and burlap bagging, and final container loading activities. CSN operates as a semi-automatic plant with state-of-the-art processing technology. CSN is the first CIMBRIA equipped dry mill, which provides both social and environmental benefits, such as the reduction of dust within the plant which helps improve the air quality for employees. The efficiencies provided by CIMBRIA offer the ability to handle micro-lots and allow for the separation of physical defects in a very efficient and cost-effective manner.

Quality control is a priority at Café Selva Norte. As the coffee is being received into the facility, the first step is to extract samples for analysis. Each received coffee lot is designated to their respective certification area, such as the separation of organic from conventional coffees in the warehouse. Samples are taken from each lot being processed every 15 minutes and analyzed to ensure the parameters which are set by the customer are achieved.

For those who are not familiar with how producers and importers interact with dry milling services, the definition of a dry mill customer might be unclear. In most cases, Café Selva Norte customers are producer organizations (cooperatives or producer associations) or one of several types of export agencies. These customers have typically received coffee contracts from their clients (i.e, importers, roasters) with terms defining specific physical and sensory qualities.

At the end of each lot being processed, a physical and sensory certificate of quality is issued and sent to the customer (producer organization), reporting the finished quality analysis for export. It is important to note producer organizations have the responsibility to monitor and approve quality reports to ensure their coffee matches the terms of their original contract agreements. Café Selva Norte follows instructions specifically provided by each customer.

While it is rare to see significant discrepancies between quality terms stated in a contract and the instructions given by the producer organization, having a third party participate in the management and monitoring of these contract fulfillments have proven beneficial to several producer organizations and their buyer clients to help alleviate many challenges.

Contracts managed by ElevaFinca have additional samples sent to the ElevaFinca quality control team to ensure contract terms match original agreements. This secondary layer of quality analysis is provided on-site at the CSN dry mill with personnel led by a certified Q grader ElevaFinca team member.

Café Selva Norte currently handles a capacity of 10 tons per hour, which equates to the processing of a full container of coffee within approximately 3.5 hours, allowing for the processing of four full containers daily. Customers can schedule their processing normally within 2-3 days of their initial request. During the main harvest, availability becomes much more competitive, where customers should anticipate 3-4 days in advance.

Café Selva Norte offers services to all organizations, cooperatives, associations, private companies, and independent producers that are seeking dry milling services. The processing plant is in the area of Jaén, Peru located in the nearby village of Balsahuaico. Appointments for processing, appointments for processing can be reserved by calling +51 918079477, or by writing to For questions or services provided by CSN, please write to

Cafe Selva Norte is an alliance between a group of cooperatives in the northern zone of Peru and private investors who are committed to sustainable coffee agroforestry projects. Ecotierra is the managing body, creator and administrator of the Cafe Selva Norte project and the coffee mill. The commercial arm of ECOTIERRA is known as ElevaFinca, which oversees providing the direct contact and commercialization between the organizations that belong to the Selva Norte Coffee alliance (producers) and their final clients (importers/roasters), thus providing a wide range of offers and services.

As of this week, there are no more offers available from Peru with ElevaFinca, but are continuing to receive fresh offers from the projects in Santa Marta, Colombia.

Our latest coffee offer is constantly updated here

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