Great coffee from Peru is an interesting blend of mild, complex, and slightly sweet flavors. But as the eleventh-largest coffee producer in the world, many people have never sampled these delicious beans. If you’d like to try it for yourself, how do you make sure you’re buying the best Peruvian coffee beans available?
We’re here to help. To make your shopping easier, we’ve tested all of the major Peruvian coffee brands and put together this list of our five favorites. Our comprehensive reviews of each brand look at price, flavor, roast quality, and freshness. Armed with all this information, you’ll be buying delicious Peruvian coffee in no time.
|Volcanica Organic Tres Cumbres Peru|
|Owens Coffee Roasters Café Tunki Peru||4.65/5|
|Java Planet Decaffeinated Peru Coffee|
(Best Decaf Pick)
|AmazonFresh Organic Fair Trade Peru Coffee|
(Best Ground Coffee Pick)
|Coffee Bean Direct French Roast Peru||Medium||4.25/5|
Our favorite brand of Peruvian coffee is the Volcanica Organic Tres Cumbres Peru Whole Bean. With a reasonable price and a complicated, delicious flavor, this whole bean coffee could be your new favorite.
Tres Cumbres is very aromatic and consistently medium roasted. These beans boast complex flavors that are both smoky and floral, though they can taste somewhat burnt at times. Like all Volcanica beans, these are grown on mountain coffee farms at over 3,000 feet of elevation. The company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee and keeps a tight Amazon inventory, so you can be sure you’ll receive fresh coffee beans.
Our second favorite type of Peruvian beans are the Café Tunki Peru Coffee Beans from Owens Coffee Roasters, which are Organic, Fair Trade, and Rainforest Alliance-certified. Named after a local Peruvian bird, these single-origin whole beans have a nutty, chocolatey flavor, with a nice citrus acidity.
This well-priced coffee has a slightly darker roast, which blends well with the mild but complex flavor of the coffee. Unfortunately, it can be a bit more difficult to find, as it’s not currently available through Amazon. You can order directly from UK-based Owens Coffee, though they don’t ship to all areas.
If you love the taste of coffee but would rather skip the caffeine, you may be interested in Java Planet’s Decaffeinated Peru Coffee. This Organic, decaffeinated coffee is offered at a reasonable price and comes in a nutty medium-dark roast.
Neither bitter nor oily, this low-acidity coffee has smooth, mild flavor. It’s not the most exciting or complex coffee that we tested, but it is reasonably flavorful and has a good aroma. Java Planet uses the chemical-free Swiss Water Process to decaffeinate these beans.
Do you dislike grinding your beans? You may want to try Peru Ground Coffee from AmazonFresh, which is our top pick for pre-ground beans. This low-cost coffee is certified Organic and Fair Trade and comes in a fragrant medium roast and medium grind.
We did find that this coffee is at the lighter end of medium roasts, so its flavor is not particularly bold or burnt. If you’re looking for good pre-ground coffee with a mild, slightly tart flavor, this Peruvian coffee from Amazon could be the variety for you.
Our last choice, the French Roast Peru Whole Bean from Coffee Bean Direct, has a low price and is available in bulk five-pound bags. This coffee has decent flavor and is generally plenty fresh, though it lacks the complexity of other Peruvian brands.
We found the roast level to be less consistent with this brand of coffee. Though these beans are sold as French roast, the bag we received was on the lighter end, at more of a medium roast level. These beans are not especially oily, though they do have higher acidity.
What are Peruvian coffee beans all about? Whether you’re well-acquainted or just trying them for the first time, this quick guide to Peru’s coffee can help you find the best beans.
Peruvian coffee dates all the way back to the eighteenth century, when Spanish explorers first introduced it to the Inca civilization. Peru was one of the first countries in the Americas to grow coffee. For many years, Peru consumed almost all of its coffee in-country, though it has become a bigger coffee exporter more recently as infrastructure improves.
Since Peru has some of the tallest mountains in the world, it’s no surprise that the majority of the country’s coffee grows at very high altitudes, between 3,000 and 5,000 feet. The climate at this high altitude is ideal for growing Arabica beans, which are considered the most flavorful and high-quality variety of coffee beans. Major coffee-growing areas include Amazonas, Ayacucho, Cusco, and Huánaco.
Coffee growing in Peru continues to be largely small-scale, with most farms under three hectares. This means that flavors can vary substantially from bean to bean, so you won’t be bored drinking Peruvian coffee.
Peru’s coffee is known for its bright, mellow flavors, medium body, and moderate acidity. Beans grown at higher altitudes will have higher acidity levels and a sweeter flavor, while those grown at low elevations have smoother, more floral flavor and less acidity.
If you like your coffee mild and sweet, even without the addition of milk or sugar, Peruvian coffee could be your new favorite. Its gentle, nutty flavor also makes it a great coffee to blend with bolder beans.
The gentle flavors of Peruvian coffee beans lend themselves best to a medium roast, which adds just enough boldness and smoke without burning away the bright complexity of the beans. As with all beans, you’ll want to be sure your Peruvian beans have been roasted recently. The best flavor is available between seven and 30 days after roasting.
Pre-ground coffee is undeniably convenient, but if you’re looking to brew the freshest, most flavorful coffee, you may want to purchase whole beans and grind them just before brewing. Through contact with oxygen, ground coffee loses flavor more quickly than whole bean.
If you’re interested in sustainability, look for Organic, Fair Trade, and Rainforest Alliance certifications on the coffee bag. After Mexico, Peru is the world’s largest exporter of Fair Trade coffee, so there’s no shortage of sustainable options.
To summarize, our favorite Peruvian coffee brand is Volcanica Organic Tres Cumbres Peru Whole Bean. Well-priced, aromatic, and flavorful, this coffee could be a great option for you. If you’re looking to cut back on caffeine, you may prefer Java Planet’s Decaffeinated Peru Coffee, which maintains a delicious, mild flavor at a reasonable cost. For lovers of pre-ground coffee, we recommend the Organic Fair Trade Peru Ground Coffee from AmazonFresh. This coffee is fragrant, mild, and slightly tart.
Whatever your preferences are, you’re sure to find a coffee brand from Peru that will suit your tastes. We hope that our in-depth reviews of the five best Peruvian coffees, along with our guide to Peru’s beans, help you make your selection.
By Kate MacDonnell
Featured image credit: LoggaWiggler, Pixabay
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