Coffee & Coffee Shops
Though the coffee plant is not native to Peru like the cacao tree, it grows very well in many of Peru’s micro-climates. Peruvian coffee is increasingly popular around the globe and coffee as an export is bringing many farmers out of poverty. There are many coffee growing regions in Peru but the ones that have adapted best to tourism so far are near Cusco in Santa Teresa and Quillabamba.
While you are traveling around Peru, don’t be too surprised if you are offered terrible coffee in some places. Some of the best coffee is exported and most Peruvians are used to drinking “café tradicional” which is very dark roasted coffee mixed with burned sugar to make it extra dark. Unfortunately, many Peruvians have gotten used to drinking instant coffee also.
The good news is that gourmet coffee is taking hold and increasingly easy to find. For high quality coffee in Cusco, I recommend Café d’Wasi, Xapiri Ground and Cicciolina Café.
You can ask for a medium roast, “un tostado medio” rather than a dark roast “un tostado oscuro.”
Café Orígenes is one place to learn about coffee growing in Peru. Contact them to arrange a tour of a coffee farm in Quillabamba or Mapacho.