Cup Notes: CHERRY, ALMOND, CARAMEL, DARK CHOCOLATE, SYRUPY
Dagoberto Marin Ludeña | La Chacra D' DAGO
Bourbon, Catimor, Catuaí, Caturra, and Typica
Palomar, Chanchamayo, Junin Region, Peru
May - September
1550 – 1700 masl
Fully washed and dried in the sun
Dagoberto Marin Ludeña owns La Chacra D’ Dago estate, which is located in the rural municipality of Palomar, in the large and geographically diverse Junín Region of central Peru. The 35 hectare 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 was originally conceived in continental Europe. Its philosophy was a reaction to increased chemical fertilizer applications in the 1920s, which resulted in deteriorating soil and poor harvest and livestock conditions. Biodynamics surpasses organic agricultural practices by viewing the farm not simply as a place to avoid synthetic chemicals. Instead, agriculture is seen as a whole living organism whose health is a matter of balance, achieved through specific planting and harvest cycles that follow certain patterns, particularly celestial (especially lunar) movements. The philosophy attempts to promote ethical treatment of all natural resources, and 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. Coffee from Chacra D’ Dago is elegantly clean, bright, syrupy sweet, and complex. The estate is a small family business. During harvest time, the Ludeña family employs 30 pickers, all carefully calibrated to the differences in cherry ripeness between the various cultivars on the farm. Post harvest, freshly picked cherry is floated in a siphon tank to eliminate floaters and then depulped, fermented, washed, and sun-dried, before being stored on property. The Ludeña family is saving to build a larger processing space where they can employ a variety of fermentation techniques. They also spend time educating nearby coffee producers about the benefits of Biodynamic farming, which they say is a long-term investment in their community, and one which is progressing little by little as growers continue to learn.