La Frontera, as the bag explains, is the name given to a collection of small family coffee farms in Peru near the border with Ecuador.
In 2007, we began our work with five small cooperatives of farmers in a valley with no name, calling the project Valle del Santuario. It has been our most successful small-scale farmer relationship to date – we’ve sourced incredible, organic coffee directly from small farmers, delivering premiums for quality, and have built rewarding personal relationships at the same time. Over the past couple of years, we’ve sought to expand our work beyond the little valley, to the surrounding mountains where other small farmers grow coffee with the same dedication and passion. This year, we’re introducing a new label – La Frontera – to bring these great new coffees of northern Peru to you. La Frontera means “the Border,” since these coffees are all from the mountainous northernmost border area of Peru.
‘La Frontera’ is a washed blend of the Caturra, Bourbon, Pache, and Catimor varieties. The aroma ranges from intense dark chocolate with hints of spice and cherries, to something reminiscent of the sweet smell of fresh cut wood and sap crackling on a camp fire. In the cup it’s a balanced but sophisticated coffee, with pronounced raisin-like sweetness, the complexity of a single estate dark chocolate, and a nice red grape acidity.
This coffee has been submitted to the upcoming Coffee Common event at TED in Long Beach, and I can see why. It’s nuanced but accessible, a real treat. You can try this coffee at Coffee Common if they have a public event in Los Angeles (or if you’ve got the deep pockets to attend TED), or order direct from Counter Culture’s website. Let me know what you think if you’ve tried it!