Product image

Mercedes Flores

with notes of
  • Orange
  • Black Tea
  • Nougat

Producer Mercedes Flores Torres lives with her husband Enrique Huisas on their farm in the La Convencíon province of the Cusco region in southern Peru. Coming from a long line of coffee farmers, Mercedes has been involved in coffee production from a young age and has spent the last 5 years intentionally focusing on specialty-grade coffee production on the entirety of her three-hectare estate. More specifically, Mercedes' chief focus on the farm is oversight of the crucial steps of processing and drying after harvest, while her husband will often spend the post-harvest time maintaining and prepping the trees for future seasons. Like many in this region, her farm benefits from the presence of native leguminous Inga trees, which provide shade and promote beneficial biodiversity, as well as nitrogen-fixation properties beneficial to the soil. Mercedes hopes to grow her yield of specialty-grade coffee in the years ahead, and the impressive altitude at her farm, along with her and her husband’s commitment to quality, indicates a bright future ahead in that regard.

This is the first year that Passenger has purchased coffee from Mercedes Flores, and likely not the last. Mercedes is one of a growing number of single-producer Reserve Lots that together represent an evolving chapter in the Passenger's Foundational sourcing program in the Cusco region. While our team has bought and presented coffees from Cusco for many years, it was only more recently that Cusco officially joined the Foundational menu alongside our five other year-round offerings from producers in Ethiopia, El Salvador, Colombia, Burundi, and Brazil. For each of these Foundational Partnerships, the goal is the same: to try to add value for the relevant producers as a reliable, ongoing buyer - intentionally prioritizing the purchase of a broad representation (i.e. not just the 'cream of the crop') of the coffees and quality grades that each partner produces.

To that end, Passenger’s green buying team is working with our Peru sourcing partners at Caravela Coffee to carefully evaluate each small delivery of coffee that each member of a small group of Cusco farmers produces throughout the harvest. By tasting each lot individually, we are able to make collaborative decisions regarding which lots to blend for the Passenger Foundational offering, and which lots to feature as special separations - as we are with the present Reserve Lot from Mercedes. This is the same purchasing model that informs the development of all of Passenger’s Foundational Partnerships and, given the nascent stage of these relationships in Cusco, we are especially excited to see these single producer lots added to the menu for a second consecutive year.