"My pride is in my land and being able to bring people here and show
them this land and my work. "- Felix Mundaca
Utopian Coffee is partnering with Felix for a second year! Felix's farm is situated in the Colasay district, Jaén province, Cajamarca region, of Peru. Getting to Colasay involves navigating treacherous switchbacks carved into the steep mountains for miles and miles. Once you finally reach the village of Colasay, there's an additional two-hour drive to reach the coffee-producing areas near the mountaintop. Our journey to Felix's farm was even more challenging as we had to drive until we reached the literal "end of the road" and then embark on an hour and a half hike to the top of a mountain.
Once there, we got to experience the beauty and the view that comes with the remote Peruvian landscape. Felix owns a 6-acre farm that basks in sunlight as he carefully cultivates two different types (or varietals) of coffee trees: Bourbon and Catimor. The Bourbon variety undergoes a specific processing method, which we'll detail further, and is exclusively sold to Utopian. As for the Catimor seeds, they are processed and sold as a cash crop in the local market.
What sets Felix's Bourbon coffee apart is his fermentation profile called "Fruta Madura." During the harvest, Felix selects only the ripest cherries and seals them in a plastic bag with fresh water. This technique extends the fermentation period, allowing complex flavors to develop within a controlled environment.
After 48 hours of careful fermentation, Felix removes the cherries and gently depulps them. This meticulous process unlocks a whole new level of taste, enhancing the cup with vibrant, citrusy flavors that will leave you mesmerized.
But Felix's journey hasn't been easy. Like many coffee farmers, he struggled to make ends meet. Because of his isolated geography, it's been difficult for him to get access to markets that will pay him what his coffee is worth. Fortunately, Origin Coffee Lab (OCL) came to the area a few years ago and began to connect with producers like Felix and afforded him an opportunity to be compensated according to his quality. We're excited to partner with OCL and to be working with them again this year to support hard-working coffee producers like Felix.In addition to the notes of electric citrus and brown sugar, you can taste the pride that he feels as he surveys the lush Catimor and Bourbon trees that cover his mountaintop farm. So, when you savor a cup of Felix’s coffee, know that you're not just enjoying a delicious brew, you're supporting producers like Felix, empowering them to improve their lives and nurture their craft.