From Peru with love

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By SHELLEY TOPP

The 100 percent Peruvian Arabica coffee is the star at Woodend’s Three Llamas Gourmet Coffee House and Roastery.

“Our coffee is different from other coffees in New Zealand,” says Richard Jackman, owner of the coffee house with his Peruvian-born wife, Cecilia.

“Our coffee is single-origin, coming from one small region in northern Peru, whereas most espresso coffee is a blend of coffee beans from three or more countries.”

The reason coffee roasters use a combination of beans from different origins is to achieve a profile that fills in all the desired characteristics.

“Our coffee is classed as “This is the highest grade of coffee available and makes up just 5% of the world’s total coffee production.

“In addition, the area our coffee comes from, in Cajamarca, has a distinct micro-climate that produces a very unique coffee that has all the major characteristics to produce excellent espresso coffee without combining it with any other beans from different countries.”

He says they have developed a range of roast profiles that suit the palate of Kiwis, allowing them to showcase the beans.

Cecilia and Richard, who was born in Christchurch, established Three Llamas Coffee in Peru during 2013, selling their product in the capital city of Lima.

However, they always intended moving to New Zealand where the consumer coffee market is more established and sophisticated.

They were also seeking a quieter lifestyle in a smaller, close-knit community, so in 2015 they moved to Woodend and established their roastery. However, they maintain a close relationship with their Peruvian coffee-bean growers.

Richard and Cecilia, who are both fruit scientists, met in Auckland while working for the Plant and Food Institute (PFR) of New Zealand.

“At the PFR we got to study many fruit crops grown in New Zealand with a focus on high quality and high health.”

Now, in their own business, they focus on developing and providing customers with high quality and high-health coffee, using the skills from their science days.

Although selling cups of coffee is a big part of the business, the beans are the biggest earner. They sell to coffee-house customers, selected cafes, business owners for their staff, and coffee lovers nationwide buy the beans online at the Three Llamas website and also from the Maker 2u website.