Peru Organic Chacra Don Dago Biodynamic
While our first couple of entries in the Peru Crown Jewel series for 2020 have focused on coffees from Cajamarca in the far north, there is excellent coffee being grown throughout the country whose Pacific coastline is longer than that of the contiguous United States. As proof, we submit this delicious offering from Villa Rica in the central growing region, a designation which includes the departments Huánuco, Junín, and Pasco.
Dagoberto Marin Ludeña owns La Chacra D’ Dago estate, which is located in Villa Rica in the Oxapampa Province within the Pasco Region of Peru. The 74 acres estate has been biodynamically cultivated since 2006. The Ludeña family also works with other local farmers to expand the biodynamic method throughout the region.
Biodynamic farming began as a reaction to deteriorating soil and poor harvest and livestock conditions in the wake of increased chemical fertilizer applications in the 1920s. Emphasizing organic agricultural practices, in conjunction with synchronizing planting and harvest cycles to terrestrial conditions and celestial (especially lunar) movements, the philosophy attempts to promote ethical treatment of natural resources and harmonious human interaction with the natural world. The actions of humans, animals, and plant life are seen as interactive parts of a living system.
Practically speaking, Biodynamic farmers set aside at least a portion of their land to promote undisturbed biodiversity (i.e., encouraging the ongoing existence of natural ecosystems) and attempt to be entirely self-sustaining with a conscious effort to return as many natural resources to the earth as are taken from it. For further reading, Demeter (the only US Biodynamic certifying agency) is an excellent source for the principles and practices of Biodynamic farming.
The coffee from Chacra D’ Dago is anecdotal evidence that supports the argument that sustainably grown and harvested crops, including coffee, can be equally if not more delicious than their conventionally produced counterparts. The coffee is elegantly clean with a bright, clear acidity that reminds us of sparkling lemonade. We picked up papaya and chile mango flavors, some oolong-tea-like notes, as well as subtler fruit flavors like pear and raisin. The sweetness is candy-like, reminding us of almond butter, caramel, and butterscotch.
It’s an undeniably enjoyable coffee, made so much more so by virtue of its conscientious production under the guidance of Dagoberto Marin Ludeña and his family.