Whether you’re starting your day, seeking an afternoon pick-me-up or simply looking to sit back and chat with friends, reach for a bowl of our 100% organic Arabica coffee.
Our single-origin coffee traces directly to the Villa Rica Valley, Oxampampa province—in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon region. Here, the Yanesha people, who have inhabited the region for thousands of years, people who have come from the Andes and a family of European immigrants who arrived in the 20th century, work in partnership.
They know coffee; 90% of the local population works in the coffee industry. And, with their commitment to environmental conservation and social responsibility, these cultures have together built the region into an internationally renowned coffee producing zone.
Villa Rica Valley coffee is globally noted for the uniform size and color of the coffee beans and for its balanced body, medium acidity, aroma and flavor. The final result is coffee that can truly be enjoyed guilt-free—from beans that sustain the environment in which they’re grown, to a brew free of chemicals.
With our founder Alain and coffee expert Wendy leading the way, we journeyed to the lush, tropical highlands of Peru to trace the origins of our coffee. In Villa Rica Valley, we met with the farmers, pickers and growers, seeing firsthand as batch-by-batch of our organic coffee was shade grown and hand harvested. From bean to brew, this is the story of our Café Maison.
We get to Lima, Peru with our eyes set on the ultimate destination—the family-owned single estate where our coffee is naturally farmed. After a ten hour trek across the 14,000-foot-tall Andes mountains, we finally arrive in the Villa Rica Valley. Here, we see how our coffee is grown — from observing the organic composting and shade-growing techniques, to meeting those who grow, pick and process it.
Although sun tolerant coffee bushes yield three times the amount of beans as their shade grown counterparts, they require extensive agricultural practices that are harmful to the environment. For this reason, our coffee growers opt for the responsible agricultural practice of rustic polyculture.
According to this method, coffee bushes grow under the native canopy of trees, replacing only the forest floor undergrowth. This encourages biodiversity as the ecosystem remains healthy and self-sustaining. Migratory birds inhabit the forest canopy, feeding on destructive insects and fertilizing the soil with their droppings. Passive fertilization occurs through leaf decomposition from the canopy, while active fertilization is done with compost from coffee processing by-products like clippings, pulp and peels.
We follow the handpicked coffee from the Villa Rica jungle to the weigh station where it is centrally processed. The cherries are sorted and separated in water flotation channels. After separating the beans from the fruit, the water is purified and returned to the wetlands and the beans are stored in bins to ferment overnight.
The process requires another stop. The green coffee is loaded onto trucks headed back to Lima, where the parchment is removed before the beans are exported in jute sacks to our family-owned roaster in Belgium. Carefully, the coffee is prepared for storage in state of the art facilities and roasted to our specifications in a two drum roaster.
The last step for our coffee? Your local Le Pain Quotidien. Stop by any of our locations, and we’ll serve it up in one of our signature bowls with your choice of organic milk. Take a moment to truly savor it up to the last drop. When it’s gone, you can always pay a visit to our online pantry to enjoy our espresso, house blend or decaffeinated coffee from the comfort of your own home.
We invite you to share in our organic coffee story by checking out the video below of our trip to Peru. Then, leave us a comment letting us know how you like your coffee!
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