As I boarded the plane in Toronto headed to Lima I knew this trip would be special. Planes, Taxi’s, Buses and Tuk Tuk’s would be my world for the next 5 days all in the pursuit of a little gear testing, adventure, and coffee tasting. With my Osprey bags packed, a few insect shield pieces of clothing from Simms, and my Grayl filter in hand I was off.
About three years ago Christy and our team at Adventure Bound began brainstorming about adding a cafe to the shop in Ellicottville. That dream was born from several things not the least of which was listening to customers talk about how disappointed they were that there was no dedicated coffee house in Ellicottville anymore. In addiition I had visited many bike and outdoor shops in other parts of the country that had either incorporated coffee or craft beer into their shop experience. As we looked at our space at 16 Washington St and evaluated the shop and the traffic patterns in Ellicottville it became clearer and clearer to us that this was a logical next step for the business.
In many regards it is a dream come true as we are able to continue with our passion for the outdoors, travel and now with a coffee twist. When we decided to source our first batch of coffee Peru was a logical choice as we had developed some great relationships and contacts there and also had a few decade history of travel in the region. When the opportunity arose to visit the cooperative where the beans are grown and hand picked which also happen to coincide with the International Federation of Coffee trade show we were all over it.
The trip had me first in Lima with a day layover and then on to Jaen in the northern region of Peru. The Jaén province, which is one of the thirteen provinces in the Cajamara region of Peru, is characterized by high temperatures year round and heavy rains from October through March. La Prosperidad de Chirinos cooperative, which is a small co-op founded in 1968, has developed an incredible multi generational approach to the coffee business and includes 30% of their members being female farmers. They use a large compost plant called a Pachakushi, which is used to create organic compost. In addition they have a comprehensive program for their members which includes education, health care, sustainable farming education and support, and a global network of customers
After a few travel challenges and delays I finally arrived in Jaen and had the opportunity to spend the day with the general manager of the cooperative and a few of his staff. The day included time at the FICAFE trade show where people from all over the world had come to visit, taste and place future orders. Espresso machines were giving off steam, grinders grinding away on freshly roasted beans, barista competitions, and even a little Cacao was in the mix.
Throughout the day I met people in the cafe business from Peru, Dubai, Japan, and the US and Canada. The all commented how much they enjoyed Peruvian coffee, it’s people, and in particular the sustainable approach the people have developed for their land, families and quality of beans overall.
If you have not visited our new shared space at 16 Washington St yet come by and say hello. We promise you a fresh #beantocup coffee experience mixed in with the latest gear from Patagonia, Hydroflask, Osprey and more.