Culture

Wake up and smell the Inti Coffee

By Radar Black

A family-owned coffee business in Cusco has big plans to expand and help growers become experts.

Wake up and smell the Inti Coffee

(Photo: Inner Qi Photo Studio)

For all those coffee lovers out there, Inti Coffee in Cusco is a “must-see-and-do”! From the moment it enters your mouth with its velvety feel, swirling over your palate, eventually leading to the smooth finish on your taste buds, the top quality of Inti Coffee’s farm-grown, organic coffees can be sensed. A similarly pleasurable experience can be had at their shop and talking to the owners, Audrey Evans and her husband, Julio. They have a vision for not only their shop and their coffee farm, but for the whole coffee industry of Peru.

The couple is pursuing their dream of offering their family-owned, farm-grown Cusco coffee at their retail shop. Offering quality and reliability, Audrey and Julio have made making coffee a way of life and even want to see standards developed for the way of life of all the coffee industry of Peru.

coffee
The quaint coffee shop invites you in! (Photo: Inner Qi Photo Studio)

For them, the money really does grow on trees! Before “getting out of the box” to live in Cusco, Audrey was born in the state of Virginia, U.S. She did a bit of back and forth between Peru and the States, having attended one year at Colegio Maria Auxiliadora, a private, girl’s high school in Cusco and later spent two years at the University of Utah. She lived a number of years in Los Angeles, California, where she succeeded very well in real estate. She even appeared on Donald Trump’s reality television program “The Apprentice”. After moving to Cusco, Audrey met her husband, Julio, and they now have two beautiful children, their expanding Inti Coffee business that they operate together and a life they absolutely love.

Audrey’s mother, who is originally from Cusco, lived in the U.S. for years where she earned a 5-star Starbucks barista title. She purchased the coffee farm in Quillabamba as a place to “retire” long before finally returning to Cusco. In 2009 the family coffee business started; six years later, it has stayed true to cultivating an organically grown product that is direct trade (farm to shop). The family continues to operate from just one coffee farm.

Two months ago, Inti Coffee, the company’s retail shop, opened on Av. Oswaldo in Cusco. The three-owners of the business however are ever-present despite the expansion: Audrey’s mother manages, works and lives on the coffee farm in Quillabamba, where they have three workers; Audrey handles the sales and marketing as well as training; and Julio manages the overall operations.

Later in 2015 Inti Coffee plans to open locations at the airport and at the Plaza de Armas in Cusco, which will integrate a travel agency to provide education through promotion of “La Ruta del Cafe”.

coffee
(Photo: Inner Qi Photo Studio)

Just as well, Inti Coffee is already experiencing international success with wholesale exports to New York and to Korea through their Lima subcontractor who roasts, warehouses and ships the coffee. The exported coffee is their own along with a cooperative of coffee from two hundred other family coffee growers in Quillabamba with whom they have built and continue to build long term relationships.

They reward their growers more because they not only grow and harvest the coffee, they also separate the coffee cherries, bag the different grades and store the bags for shipment to Lima. The company profits are re-invested into the business. “Up-front” payment is offered to their growers for the harvest. Classes are given to the women growers to “know” coffee and become “experts” in coffee, not just growers. Teenage growers are offered classes in how to properly dry the coffee, and barista classes to know how to taste or “cup” the coffee and to know how to brew excellent coffee. They teach, engage, develop and coach their growers to learn, to become educated and to be experts in their respective fields.

Business location: Av. Oswaldo Baca Mendoza J-13, Urbanización Magisterio, Cusco

How to get there: From Avenida de la Cultura (at the Magisterio bus stop just east of Colegio San Antonio Abad) walk north on Avenida Jose Gabriel Coslo one block to Jiron Matto Clorindo de Turner where you go east one block to Avenida Oswaldo Baca Mendoza where you again go north approximately 1/2 block where Inti Coffee is located.

Note: The Bolivian Embassy is on the northwest corner of Jiron Matto Clorindo de Turner and Avenida Oswaldo Baca Mendoza where you will be able to see the Inti Coffee signage looking north up the block.

Your comment will be submitted for approval by an administrator. We reserve the right to not publish offensive or profane remarks.