Coffee producers in Santo Domingo de la Capilla are very serious about picking only the ripest cherries, so it can take up to five pickings to complete a harvest. After each picking, the cherry is pulped immediately and the parchment is fermented for approximately 12 hours and then washed and dried. While it’s drying on patios it’s turned several times, which helps to achieve the region’s beautiful shade of green. The Producers Farmers here only recently began growing coffee. Until about five years ago, they concentrated primarily on sugarcane, or yonke (pronounced jon-kay). Traditionally, yonke is grown at low altitudes, but these communities had adapted and were cultivating heirloom plants and distilling a popular Peruvian cane liquor. They’ve since been introduced to coffee, which is more profitable — especially in their capable hands — though yonke remains a popular side business.
Santo Domingo de la Capilla — one of 15 districts in the province of Cutervo — has perfect conditions for outstanding coffees: high altitudes (coffee grows at up to 2,000 meters ASL) warm temperatures and abundant rain. The region also has abundant vegetation that the locals are serious about conserving. This has directly influenced la Capilla’s microclimate, which creates more precipitation than other coee-producing regions in Cajamarca and enormously benefits the producers. [Genuine Origin]