Gonzalo Chocan is a young, third-generation coffee grower. He has been managing his family farm, El Frutal, for the last five years.
El Frutal sits at an altitude of 1750 to 1900 masl near Las Pirias, in the Chirinos district in the province of San Ignacio, one of the most well-known areas for quality coffee in Peru.
Outstanding coffees are grown and processed on El Frutal with an attention to detail dedicated at every level of the farm's coffee production, including building solar driers and raised beds to process both washed and natural coffee.
Gonzalo's family support him in the all aspects of the farm, such as selectively hand-picking, de-pulping, washing and looking after the coffee drying beds.
The farm is only one hectare, so Gonzalo and his family do most of the work and hire labour only for the picking.
Most of the El Frutals coffee is grown in the shade of the native forest and fruit trees Gonzalo's grandfather planted as soon as he purchased this piece of land, hence the name El Frutal.
This micro-lot has been washed with the fermentation time extended to produce more complex flavour notes to coffee.
There are two approaches to extending the coffee fermentation process:
- After picking ripe coffee cherries, Gonzalo lets the coffee cherry sit in the collection bag, or in the reception tank, for hours, up to days, before depulping.
- Extending the fermentation time at the parchment stage, i.e. when the coffee has been depulped, and the parchment is soaking in water.
Despite facing complex challenges in years at the helm of El Frutal, Gonzalo has been continuously improving the cupping score of his coffees.
In the future, Gonzalo wants to plant some Gesha varietals and improve and increase the drying space on the farm.