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Peruvian Coffee: In a World of Its Own for Week

Peruvian Coffee: In a World of Its Own for Week

There are two qualities that make Peruvian coffee stand out: the remote, high-altitude location where it grows and the collective work of the farmers who have turned the country into the world s foremost producer of organic coffee. Still, many people don’t think of Peru when they’re in the market for coffee. With a neighbor like Brazil, the world’s top coffee exporter, it’s easy to understand why it sometimes gets overshadowed. For those seeking outstanding coffee that is safe for growers and the environment, though, it will soon become a favorite.

The processing of coffee production in Peru starts with coffee cherries being handpicked off the plants. This is very labor intensive, but it makes it easier to spot ripe ones, and this is a very important step in getting high-quality beans. Through pulping, the outer layer is removed from the bean, and the bean goes through a short self-created fermentation period. The bean is then washed and allowed to dry, either naturally or via a machine until only 10-12% of its moisture remains. The beans have to be carefully stored after this to ensure that they retain their quality.

A Taste of Peru

Generally, Peruvian coffee has a light to medium body, which some drinkers compare to 2% milk because it isn’t heavy but also isn’t lacking taste. It’s also aromatic and incredibly flavorful. Because of its mildness, it’s perfect for blending but the sweet, nutty taste also means it can be savored on its own.

Coffee-Growing Regions in Peru

Peru grows its Arabica beans in the Northern, Central and Southern regions of the country, along the forested eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains. There are three main coffee-producing areas: Chanchamayo in the central highlands, which accounts for 28% of total production, Amazonas and San Martin of the northern highlands, which make up 49% of total production, and Puno, Cusco, and Ayacucho in the southern highlands, where 23% of production occurs, according to a report from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. Three-fourths of the coffee grown in the country takes place between 3,280 and 5,905 feet above sea level. Coffee is Peru’s top agricultural export.

The majority of the coffee growers in Peru are small farmers, and the average farm is only about 3 hectares (almost 7 and ½ acres). Many of these farmers participate in fair-trade cooperatives, and through these groups they have been able to create a sustainable agricultural market, negotiate competitive prices, improve the quality of their products, and get more access to the international market. By one estimate, 15-25% of the more than 100,000 small farmers have joined a cooperative. Some associations can have around 2,000 members and more than 7000 hectares (more than 17,000 acres) under its branch. In fact, Peruvian small-farmer cooperatives became the second largest supplier of certified fair-trade coffee after Mexico. Of Peru’s 21 largest coffee exporters, 4 of them are fair-trade associations. How’s that for teamwork?

A Peruvian Coffee Profile You Are Sure to Enjoy

Camano Island Coffee Roasters sells Peruvian coffee in dark and light roasts. Our dark roast is for the coffee drinker who likes just a hint of sweetness but wants a robust smoky or charred flavor in their Java. The light roast will have a bit of the original, natural flavor of the bean, which is a toasted, grainy taste. Because our beans are 100% shade-grown Arabica beans, they’re low in acidity and never cause heartburn or acid reflux.

A Coffee Company Developed With You in Mind

At Camano Island Coffee Roasters, we know that getting the coffee you want just the way you prefer it is important to you, so we provide a variety of shade-grown, organic flavors from Peru and beyond. Do not forget to try our commitment-free Coffee Lover’s Club, and stock up on your favorite flavors at the shipping frequency that is right for you, or give the subscription as a gift to the coffee aficionado in your life.

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Coffee Frosting on Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes with Coffee Frosting made a great day of work even better!

This recipe was found on Pinterest and comes from  While the coffee frosting topping doesn’t have the same “visual appeal” as hers did (we didn’t have a squeezy thing like she used, I guarantee you that it tasted much better since we substituted the instant coffee her recipe calls for — for the best coffee in the world — organic, Camano Island Coffee.

The coffee frosting contained our decaf espresso coffee beans ground for espresso.  I enjoyed a french press cup of our light roast  Guatemala coffee along with it.

Scroll Past the Picture for the Recipe!

Chocolate Cupcake with Coffee Frosting


  • Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 1 3/4 cup (210 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp (8 grams) baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (20 grams) dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) almond oil
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) milk
  • Coffee Frosting
  • 3 tbsp (42 grams) soft butter
  • 6 tbsp (168 grams) soft cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp espresso ground Camano Island Coffee ( original recipe calls for instant coffee…. if you’ve not had our coffee before, look below to pick up a pound for free, you’ll be happy you did!)
  • 3 cups (360 grams) powder sugar


  1. Chocolate cupcakes
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 12 cupcake pan with paper liners. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Add the sugar also.
  4. Make a well in the middle and stir in the eggs, corn syrup, milk and oil.
  5. Mix until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Cool completely before frosting them.
  1. Coffee frosting
  2. In a small bowl mix the vanilla extract with the coffee powder.
  3. Add it to a mixing bowl with the butter and the cream cheese. Mix until smooth and creamy.
  4. Scrap the sides of the bowl and slowly add the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time until all the sugar is incorporated.
  5. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag and frost the cupcakes.

Needless to say… these were REALLY yummy cupcakes.  The mixture of dark chocolate cupcakes and coffee frosting was perfect and it went well with fresh coffee, french pressed.

By Dan Ericson

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September’s Coffee of the Month


Guatemala Light and Medium Roast

September 2011_icon.jpg

This month we are excited to offer a delicious blend of Guatemala Coffee Medium and Light roasts. This blend is my personal favorite and is a delightful addition to any occasion.  From the village of Trapichitos in Guatemala, comes this wonderfully rich, full flavored, original Guatemala coffee bean.  We carry Guatemala all year but for the month of September we’re blending the light and medium roasts of this exquisite bean.The result is a mellow, yet medium/full bodied coffee with slight hints of citrus.

Guatemala Light.jpg

Bean Notes: Sweet, tangy citrus tones give this organic coffee a very distinct yet distinguished flavor and aroma. One of our best morning coffees, this Guatemala coffee bean has both the aromatic qualities and taste complexity to set it apart from many coffees worldwide. It is often considered by coffee experts to be among the best coffees in the world.

Roast Notes: The blend of light and medium roasts brings together the complexity of the light roast with the depth and smokiness of the medium roast.  Our Guatemala Medium Roast is our darkest medium roast while our Guatemala light is a fairly light roast.

Guatemala Medium.jpg

Country Notes: Our wonderful Guatemala Trapichitos bean has more than a great flavor to it. It’s the first coffee CICR has carried that has a direct connection to our relationship with Agros. Check out this link to read about Agros’ work in Trapichitos. The country of Guatemala is bordered by Mexico to the north, Belize to the northeast, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast. It is known for having some of the most desirable coffees in the Americas, producing dense beans from high elevations.

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August 2011’s Coffee of the Month: Beach Brew

August 2011 — Coffee of the Month — Beach Brew.

Our Original Beach Brew is back! This coffee of the month is a combination of  our Papua New Guinea in light roast coffee and medium roast coffee. For those that love our Holiday Blend coffee (only available in November and December each year), this is the closest you can get to it! Get these fresh coffee beans while you still can!

coffee of the month

Our Papua New Guinea Coffee:

Our Papua New Guinea coffee (PNG) is one of our most popular coffees which is entirely understandable given its undertones that provide hints of cocoa. It has a medium to full body and is considered by many to be among the finest coffees in the world. Most of PNG’s arabica coffee comes from trees that were uprooted in Jamaica (Blue Mountain) and replanted in PNG.


coffee of the month

How to taste this coffee: 

Available individually in both a light roast coffee and a medium roast coffee, our Papua New Guinea’s best flavors come to the front when not going too dark with the roast.  The chocolaty tones become more pronounced as the bean is roasted lighter. This blend of roasts provides your tastebuds with just the right amount of chocolate tone while introducing a very slight hint of spice developed mainly by the blend of the two roast levels.


coffee of the month

More about our Papua New Guinea coffee:

According to the Department of State’s website (click the link if you’d like to read all the in-depth details on PNG), PNG is roughly the size of the state of California and has around 6.3 million people. It has three official languages (English, Tok Pisin, and Motu) as well as close to 860 other languages which plays a huge part in the overall fragmentation of the country and its people. Another topic of note is that PNG only has 49.3% literacy. PNG is known as a country ripped in pieces by civil war, lawlessness and poverty. Yet in the last few years, thanks to many factors including sustainable coffee purchasing, Papua New Guinea has started down the road to recovering its economy. It’s a long road ahead, but we have helped immensely and can continue to help just through responsible purchasing.
Get this coffee of the month while you still can!
Update: if you’re seeing after August 2011 don’t fear! You can still recreate this Coffee of the Month in your own kitchen! Simply order our Papua New Guinea coffee in both light roast and medium roast and mix them yourself.
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July 2011’s Coffee of the Month: Colombia Reserve

July's Coffee of the Month

For the Month of July, we wanted to offer a Reserve that we haven’t offered in over 5 years to our customers. Camano Island Coffee Roasters only has 2 reserves in stock currently and it’s rare we are able to get the quantity necessary to offer one of them as our “Coffee of the Month” to our prosumers. This month, we were able to secure enough supply of our Colombia Reserve coffee.

Bean Notes:
As one of Camano Island Coffee Roasters’ “Roaster’s Reserve” coffees, the Colombian Excelso is the perfect combination of nuttiness, sweet caramel tones, along with a touch of spice on the undertone. Specifically, the nuttiness shines through. If you’re one of the many that love nutty coffee’s, this coffee will quickly become one of your favorites!


Country Notes:
Colombia has around 46 million people and is the third most populated country in Latin America.  It is bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil, to the south by Ecuador and Peru, to the north by the Caribbean Sea, and to the west by Panama and the Pacific Ocean. Colombia is one of the world’s 17 “megadiverse countries” (most biodiverse per unit area).  (see Colombia’s entry on Wikipedia for more information)

Roast Notes:
Our Colombian coffee beans are roasted to a medium/light color.  A lot of people equate Colombian beans with some of the darker roasts around but we’ve found that the flavor is best when roasted to this level.

Related Links:
Colombian Coffee on CICR’s Website
CICR’s Coffee of the Month (best for ordering at the discounted price!)

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May 2011’s Coffee of the Month – Peru Light and Dark Roast

Our “Coffee of the Month” for May, 2011 is a wonderful blend of light and dark roasted Peruvian beans.

Country Notes:
One of the highest in elevation in the region, this Peru coffee bean has sweet, fruity tones that lend towards a naturally sweet cup. Our Peru is a light bodied coffee, which gives great flavor and taste to each cup. This coffee is great any time of the day and will complement every meal.

That description still holds true with this special blend of roasts. The only addition I would make to that description is the added amount of complexity from the combination of a Light Roast coffee and a Dark Roast coffee.

Peru Light Roast.jpeg

Roast Notes:
At CICR, we get so caught up in coffees that have a “strength” in flavor or provide the drinker with a “rich” cup of coffee, that the Peru often gets overlooked. Peru, while not having a super deep, dark flavor, has a wonderfully mellow tone and smooth taste. When I’m eating a meal, I want my coffee to taste great, but not compete with what I’m enjoying. The natural sweetness and subtle flavors of this Peru blend will complement any meal.


Peru Coffee: Peru Dark Roast.jpeg

Country Notes: Peru is a beautiful country with a diverse landscape. It is bordered by Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil and Bolivia to the east, and Chile to the south. The estimated population of Peru is 30 million people (2011), and the two national languages are Spanish and Quechua. Peru is home to many people groups today and was the native land of the Incas.

Related Links and Information:

Enjoy this wonderfully subtle favorite!


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Ordering Your Organic Holiday Blend Coffees!

Here is a preview of our seasonal Holiday Blends, available only in November & December!

Holiday Blend

Holiday Blend Midnight (Dark Roast)

Holiday Blend Swiss Water Process Decaf

Club Members: Because this is a seasonal coffee, we aren’t allowing you to add it to your club order from the website. It is available to add to your club, however! Just call or email our customer service department and we can take care of it for you!

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Holiday Blend Coffees – Dark, Medium, and Swiss Water Process Decaf

It’s that time again! We’re releasing our highly anticipated “Holiday Blend” coffees into the wild yet again. Now is your chance to grab our most popular coffees! Need a gift? Need coffee for yourself? Here at the “Roastery”, we don’t have the opportunity to talk too much about our Holiday Blend coffees before one of our prosumers take over and let everyone know how much they love them and why. It’s always fun to have such passionate support and these coffees ALWAYS instill that passion.

Well, enough chat… let’s get down to the nitty-gritty:

Holiday Blend:
Papua New Guinea – Light/Medium/Dark Blend
Our Papua New Guinea is such a popular coffee throughout the year. Around 6 years ago, Cristy came up with a great idea: “Since Papua New Guinea is so popular, we should do a special coffee for the Holidays that has a light, a medium, and a dark profile blended together. It’d be a great Holiday Brew!” Well, Cristy was right… and it’s been overwhelmingly popular from year to year!

Our Blog and Website both describe the Papua New Guinea bean as follows:

Sweet and medium-bodied, Papua New Guinea coffee is prized for its richness and crisp, clean finish. Subtle, yet distinct chocolaty tones make this light roast organic coffee a favorite among our customers. The Papua New Guinea coffee bean is versatile and makes a distinguished cup of morning coffee, as well as a smooth after dinner coffee served with dessert.

Holiday Blend Midnight
Brazil Dark Special Roast
Just a year after we first introduced our “Holiday Blend”, we decided to add another yummy coffee to our Holiday Lineup. We’d received a lot of feedback from customer requesting something a little darker for their Holiday Coffee. We cupped, tested, drank coffee, didn’t sleep at night, drank more coffee… Finally, after weeks of too much coffee and no sleep (only slightly joking…), we developed a special Brazil Dark Roast profile specifically for our Holiday Blend Midnight.

Our Blog and Website both describe the Brazil bean as follows:

Our Brazil is perhaps one of our most complex coffees. Its well defined caramel tones coupled with a finishing hint of spice give it a unique and addictive flavor. Rounding out the undertones of the coffee are nutty hints. Brazilian weather conditions are very unique and produce excellent Arabica naturals.

Holiday Blend SWP Decaf
Honduras Dark Roast SWP Decaf
Now two years after the birth of our Holiday Blend, we came to one big conclusion: Decaf drinkers were feeling left out! Of course we had two regular Holiday coffees, and it seemed natural we needed a decaf to add to the lineup. The original Holiday decaf was a Sumatra Dark Roast. A couple years later we introduced our new Honduras Dark Roast Decaf and instantly knew we had found the perfect fit for our Holiday lineup.

Our Blog and Website both describe the Honduras bean as follows:

Although Honduras is relatively new to high-end Arabica coffee, its soil, climate, and altitude are all perfect for coffee growing. Dark roast organic coffee from Honduras offers the perfect blend of rich molasses tones with slight hints of caramel and spice. This sustainable organic coffee has a pleasant brightness and a medium to heavy body to compliment the sweeter molasses and caramel tones.

So, there you have it. 3 great coffees for 2 fun-filled, eventful months!

I hope you enjoy them all!

“Coffee Guru”

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January’s Coffee of the Month – Medium Roast Guatemala and Light Roast

The Holiday Blend coffees are gone until November 2010….
Are you upset you won’t be able to get them? Don’t worry about it! This month is the chance for something different, yet unique and delicious. We’re bringing you a very special blend of Guatemala coffee for January that is sure to keep you wanting more.

Our “Coffee of the Month” is a wonderful Agros coffee. It’s my personal favorite actually. From the village of Trapichitos in Guatemala, comes this wonderfully rich, full flavored, original Guatemala coffee bean. We carry Guatemala all year but for the Month of January, we’re blending the light and medium roasts of this exquisite bean. The result is a mellow, yet medium/full bodied coffee with a slight citrus highlight.

Agros’ website gives us a little more insight:

“Place of the Sugar Mills”
Nebaj, Quiché, Guatemala
Size: 635 acres
Population: 61 families
Founded: 2000

Also known as La Trinidad (the Trinity), Trapichitos is an Ixil community that has persevered through great challenges. Squeezed together for many years on just 25 acres of land, the original 85 families organized themselves to purchase land 25 minutes from their homes. After five frustrating years and many fruitless attempts to acquire land, the community approached Agros for assistance in April 2000. Agros had never worked with previously organized groups in the Ixil, thereby, presenting a new opportunity. With Agros’ support, local leaders finally had the financial backing to approach the landowner. The 635-acre tract of Trapichitos was purchased in November 2000

Read More:

I hope you enjoy what is my personal favorite of our coffee beans!

Dan – CICR


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November’s Coffee of the Month – Peru Light and Dark

It’s a busy time of year for us at Camano Island Coffee and I’m a few days late on this post (please forgive me!). November marks the first month of the availability of our Holiday Blend and Holiday Blend Midnight coffees. Of course, what is often lost in the shadow of those coffees is a great coffee that many don’t usually get a chance to try.

Our Peru coffee is described as:
“One of the highest in elevation in the region, this Peru bean has sweet, fruity tones that lend towards a naturally sweet cup. Our Peru is our lightest bodied coffee which makes it a great choice for the coffee drinker that enjoys drinking lots of coffee yet doesn’t want to sacrifice in the flavor of the cup. This coffee is great anytime of the day and compliments many meals.”
That description still holds true with this special blend of roasts. The only addition I would make to that description is the added amount of complexity from the combination of a Light Roast coffee and a Dark Roast coffee.

At CICR, we get so caught up in coffees that have a “strength” in flavor or provide the drinker with a “rich” cup of coffee, that the Peru often gets overlooked. Peru, while not having that super heavy flavor, has a wonderfully mellow tone. We always market it as our “guzzling” coffee but it’s also a wonderful compliment to food. When I’m eating a meal, I want my coffee to taste great, but not compete with what I’m enjoying. This Peru’s natural sweetness only goes to compliment the meal rather than combat it.

That’s it for this one! Thanks for reading and come grab a cup at the Roaster if you’re out here! We always have FREE cups of our fresh roasted organic coffee for you to try!

Dan – CICR

PS – Don’t forget, we still do have our Holiday Blends Available now!