The coffee from Juan Lisaraso, from Cusco-Peru, was one of the four microlots that arrived to our roastery last January. After my first cupping (coffee tasting) of it, it tasted so good already that I knew this coffee would amaze me and impress me even further with each updated and improved roast of it. Not only did its taste impress me, but also the region and farm where it comes from, let me tell you more about it:
Cusco, is the capital of the Incas – the empire that dominated almost all of South America, which is also home to one of the seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu. As well as coming from such an inspiring and beautiful region, the farm that these beans come from also has a story worth telling. Juan Lisaraso has been cultivating coffee since he was a child, his parents owned the farm previously and he had taken over with his wife and children. The family run farm is not only a great coffee producer but they also take care of an endangered species of bear, called the spectacled bear, a bear that populates the Andes of South America. The name was given to them due to their facial markings that make them look like they are wearing spectacles! I have only learned about this species of bear recently, but as quickly as I fell in love with the coffee – I also fell in love with these cute animals! Here at Cafetoria, we loved them so much that we have made plans to donate to a conservation Institute in Peru who take care of them.
The coffee from Juan Lisaraso, is quite a rare and difficult varietal to find nowadays – Typica. This has made our experience of it even more magical and unique. The time Ivan brought the first sample roast of it, is a memory I won’t forget so quickly. Together, we cupped the four micro-lots that arrived on the same day to our roastery. Two of them being from the Cusco region and the other two from Puno. From the first sip of each coffee I picked out Cusco as my favorite. I could feel on my tongue the playful and bouncing acidity that I have always enjoyed in coffee. The vanilla like sweetness swelled in my mouth, this taste has stayed with each improved roast of Cusco and it’s the thing I love most about this particular coffee. Even though this coffee had scored lower than the other three, there was something wonderful and inspiring about it. It felt like a journey from the first sip to the last drop.
I have often described coffee taste with colours – it helps me focus further on the flavours and so: yellow, pink, orange and red have always been in my mind when tasting Cusco. Changing, developing and evolving over time but always growing more saturated, bright and more sophisticated with each roast. If you have tried this coffee at our cafe or bought it for at home and have been brewing it, I’m sure you’ve been just as impressed with it and I hope it took you on a journey of flavours that it always takes me on. If you feel like you have not reached its full potential, I’m here to help with a little brewing guide, as I truly want everyone to get the most out of this coffee.
My Brewing tips for Juan Lisaraso’s coffee:
My favourite brew method has always been with the Hario V60, so I will guide you how I brew this coffee and get the most wonderful flavours out of it! I always start with the basic recipe, 18g of coffee to 290g of water, this makes two small cups, but if you are like me and consume more coffee than most, this is only enough for one. I recommend using 92 degrees for the water as this temperature brings out the desirable vanilla-like sweetness. I recommend grinding fresh, if you don’t have a grinder, we can always grind the coffee for you at any of our cafes – just ask. The grind size should be medium-coarse. Pro tip: I always rinse my filter paper with hot water! This gets rid of undesirable paper or chemical tastes in my final cup.
Now, you’ve got your V60, your recipe, your water heated, your paper rinsed, your coffee ground – what’s next? The brewing! The first step is what we call a pre-infusion, or what some people call a “bloom”. For this step, I do a double-pre infusion, this means I add 8g of coffee to my brewer, wet the grounds just a little bit, add the rest of the coffee and thoroughly wet the rest of the grounds (go up to roughly 65g). The blooming process should time at around 30 seconds. Then I start my pulses! The first pulse, we discovered works best if you go in bravely and pour vigorously and a substantial amount. Roughly up to 170g – then wait for it to drain a little, but don’t let the coffee bed dry up. The aim is to have my brew between 2:30 – 3:00 minutes long. With this in mind, I often end up doing two more pulses. If you follow all of these steps you should end up with the most mouth-watering cup of Cusco!
Hope you enjoy and have as an amazing experience with this coffee as I have had!