Edith Meza Sagarvinaga & Ivan Meza Sagarvinaga | Finca Tasta
Challhuamayo community, Laylla district, Satipo province, Junín region, Peru
May - August
Anaerobic cherry fermentation natural process
Finca Tasta is located in Peru’s central forest and is run by siblings Edith and Ivan. The farm was their late mother’s project, and the two have since taken over operations. In the last handful of years they’ve refined their processing methods and expanded their operations, and hope to become a beacon of specialty coffee and sustainability. Finca Tasta is a 56-acre estate that has 19 acres cultivated with coffee and 22 acres of natural preserved forest. Edith is an active member of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) in Peru. Through her activism in the IWCA, the International Trade Centre awarded Edith with the opportunity to visit Seattle during the Specialty Coffee Expo. The trip inspired a desire to begin diversifying the post-harvest processing at Finca Tasta.This coffee is the result of the first few years of diversification. To achieve an anaerobic (oxygen-deprived) fermentation environment, extremely ripe coffee cherry is packed into 200-liter cylinders and hermetically sealed. The fermentation of the fruit consumes all available oxygen and continues anaerobically after that, allowing sugars to macerate for a long period without the fruit itself molding or decomposing as quickly. The coffee is left to ferment anaerobically for 60 hours, and then is moved to dry on raised beds until the final humidity goal of 10.5-11.0% is reached.Edith and her brother Ivan are leading by example, focusing on sustainability and independence by diversifying crops beyond just coffee to include food for themselves and their workers. In addition to coffee, Edith and Ivan produce plantains, yucca, tomatoes, sugarcane, raspberries, and pumpkins. Finca Tasta has become a major source of employment for people who live in the nearby community of Challhuamayo. The farm has 6 full-time employees and 36 additional people employed during the harvest. They hope to inspire other farmers to move away from monoculture and back towards a model of truly sustainable agriculture. Their commitment to environmental protection is runs so deep that they leave 9 of their 22 non-coffee hectares of land completely wild to protect native animals like deer, monkeys, and native birds. They also include a deer and a tree in their logo as a symbol of their dedication to the creatures and ecosystems they are committed to protecting. The obvious energy behind the project is palpable when speaking with Edith, as our own Mayra Orellana-Powell did in an interview (you can read that interview here). Her passion for continuing and improving the work of her mother and engaging with her community is clear.