Germán Carranza

Germán is set to do great things in the world of coffee. He is bringing strong agronomic practices, experimentation, and control to his family's coffee production resulting in meticulously crafted coffees that are continuously improving.

Germán and four of his 12 siblings have split the land passed on to them by their father who has since retired from coffee production. Germán and his brothers are pushing the family's production of coffee to a new level by perfecting traditional specialty coffee production as well as using newer techniques like carbonic maceration alongside better agronomic practices such as selective propagation which promotes the growth of plants best adapted to the local micro climate and soil increasing production and resistance to diseases and pests.

Germán has also instilled an ideology of controlled experimentation on the family farm resulting in immediate ROI. One example of this is through the harvesting of cherries that have ripened too early for production harvests. These small harvests are processed, sample roasted on site and catalogued to tweak and perfect the coming harvest's unique qualities. When the family believes they have something special they then send samples out to multiple graders and buyers for feedback.

The family's success through better practices and a mindset for perfection has put them in a position to help those around them as well by paying higher wages to seasonal workers and providing opportunities for neighboring producers to work part time as they please throughout the harvest season. The family is also engaged in the community and has worked on projects such as a "coffee roadway" which has benefited all nearby producers by grouping harvests together alongside the road for communal transportation.

We've had some great conversations with Germán. He is a passionate individual that loves his work. Out of the hundreds of thousands of coffee producers in Peru, Germán and family are the select few producing specialty grade honey and natural coffees. He is incredibly knowledgeable in the production of coffee and agronomy and is focused on producing the best coffees possible—and it shows.

Germán and family are only one producer family we partner with to bring specialty coffee from Peru all the way to coffee lovers all over the US in turn. We've yet to meet German or his family in person due to COVID-19, but we eagerly await the day.

30% of the profits made from the Carranza's coffee goes directly into their pockets and their community.

Shop now to see what the Carranzas and Peru have to offer.

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The finca

Location

Utcubamba, Amazonas, Peru

Elevation

5249 - 5577 ft. (1600 - 1700 meters)

Size

22.2 acres (9 hectares)

Certifications

Organic, Fairtrade

Varietals

Bourbon, castillo rosario, gesha

Processes

Dry/natural, honey, washed

An interview with Germán

What generation coffee farmer are you?

I am the second generation. My parents started producing coffee and my siblings and I helped since we were young. Now I work with my brothers.

How many years have you been producing coffee?

I've been producing since 2008.

What is your favorite part of producing coffee?

Cupping or sensory analysis. Evaluating a new coffee is like a surprise, like a kid waiting with excitement to see what's in the box. There's always some anxiety before evaluating wondering what it will be like, what positive attributes it has or if there will be any defects.

What is the hardest part about growing coffee?

The manual labor. Due to COVID we had a hard time finding enough workers for harvest and it had some impact on the quality of some of the coffee. Drying is also difficult in our area due to the high humidity.

What challenges do you face?

Milling the coffee. During harvest season we are driving over 4 hours one way multiple times a week for final processing at mills. It took longer before as there was no road, but we built our own so it's faster now.

What challenges does your community face?

There are a few. Health care is difficult. For more than the basic trips to the doctor we have to travel hours to a larger city. The quality of the roads is another. The rain destroys the roads and it makes mobilizing difficult. Our community actually worked together to rent equipment to make our own roads which we all benefit from now.

How has climate change affected production?

We've had years where there was so little rain that the plants die and then years where there is so much rain it washes all the soil away and destroys the roads.

What plans do you have for your farm?

We are working on selective propagation. Usually producers purchase seeds and they can come from any number of regions where they grow well, but they won't grow the same on my farm. When we see a plant is growing well, produces quality coffee, and is resistant to pests and disease we collect those seeds and replant them to have plants better adapted to our area.

Do you produce anything else on your farm?

Banana, yucca, guava, other fruiting trees, animals such as chickens and ducks. We also have cows and tilapia. When the cows are producing milk for the calves we also use some to make cheese. We used to use horses for transporting coffee, but I felt like horses should be pets so we stopped using them.

How has the whole coffee production process changed over the years from harvesting to selling?

No one used to cup or grade coffee in my region before. Coffee was sold only by the appearance of the green coffee beans. The coop I was in decided to invest in sample roasting and cupping and everyone found out the look of the coffee didn't matter. We were able to find defects in the cup from processing to improve on which brought in more clients and we were able to sell the coffee for a higher price.

What makes you feel the most proud about being a producer of coffee?

When I have happy clients. When a client says Germán your coffee turned out great. It makes me happy. I also feel proud when we're able to help others. Around 2015 we changed how we pay our manual labor. Before in our region pickers were paid $2-3 per day. Now we pay for volume which drastically increased how much pickers are paid. Since the pickers now make more money they are also more focused on the quality of the cherries harvested. We also have other producers that show up to help pick a basket or two for some extra money.

What would you like to say to the people drinking your coffee?

The first thing, (jokingly) please don't use too much sugar. I want to say, enjoy. I hope when they make their coffee and enjoy for 5 or 10 minutes to remember the months of work that went into it.

30% of the profits made from the Carranza's coffee goes directly into their pockets and their community.

Shop the Carranza's coffee
Read more about our profit sharing program