Benigno Rayme Grande and his family love coffee and it’s apparent the moment you step foot on their farm. Benigno lives on his farm with his wife and youngest children, while his two oldest have moved on to work other jobs in the coffee chain; one is a barista and the other is a coffee roaster. The joy they carry in their work is visible throughout their well-maintained, organic farm in Cusco. Unsurprisingly, the care and precision they pour into the coffee is present in each cup.
Arriving at Benigno’s farm and home is no small feat. The 2-hectare property sits at prized elevation just above 2000 meters, with breathtaking views in the middle of the Andes. To get to the farm, it takes about an 8-hour drive from Cusco city, weaving through the mountains, with plenty of off-roading. Benigno has been farming coffee in the region his whole life, however, his current farm he purchased just 8 years ago when he saw the potential in the land and decided to begin planting coffee. All of the work on the farm is kept in the family, with the goal of holding the quality up to the Rayme Grande standard.
The coffee is comprised of Bourbon and Caturra varieties that are grown between 2000-2050 meters. They diligently harvest only ripe cherry before they are floated and pulped. It then undergoes a very clean and diligent fermentation process. This process begins with 12 hours of dry/open-air fermentation. Then, they wash the coffee before 12 more hours of fermentation(this time with water). It is then washed again before a final 12-hour soak in water. After the day and a half of slow fermentation, the coffee dries on covered raised beds where it is moved regularly during the 2 week drying time.
We’ve been pleased to find Rayme Grande’s coffee arrive to us in Michigan as warm and pleasant as the way we were greeted at their farm in Cusco this past season. The coffee is gentle, with brown butter-like texture, citric nuance, and dark honey sweetness. Drinking this coffee is reminiscent of the flavor of traditional pound cake.