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  • Writer's pictureJon Ferguson

Multiple Coffee Quality Grades Bring Economic Sustainability

The most popular coffee flavor profiles from the Cajamarca and Amazonia regions of Peru present an intense flavor of chocolate, panela, and caramel. These characteristics are developed as a result of several influences including elevation, coffee variety, climatic conditions, and post-harvest processing methods.

Although these flavor attributes can be found throughout most coffee quality grades, these characteristics are more subtle in the cup for average cup scores, and perhaps showcase these attributes with more clarity and focus with higher cupping scores. These flavor attributes can be very diverse and popular for use in a variety of roasting styles and blends.

For the bulk of the coffee harvest in Peru, cooperatives generally receive and deliver most of their coffee between 80-82 points on the SCA cupping scale. Although specialty coffee offerings are highly sought after and widely available by cooperatives throughout the region, a higher percentage of overall coffee sales come from what is considered average quality.

Roasters who are looking to support the livelihoods of coffee growers in Peru can be proud to invest in average qualities knowing better pricing for average coffee matters dearly to coffee producers. Limiting the concept of sustainability to coffees that score higher or present unique cup quality attributes may overlook the foundation of a coffee producer’s main source of revenue.

Higher quality coffees certainly can provide more economic value, distinction, and pride for producers who strive to improve their work and quality, the same can easily be said for the average qualities, which fit perfectly as a blend component for the most widely consumed blends around the world.

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