Cafédirect Machu Picchu Coffee Review: Organic, Fairtrade and Fantastic!

Cafédirect’s Machu Picchu coffee is undoubtedly one of my favourite go-to ground coffees.

This coffee has so many good things going for it in my eyes: full-bodied, organic, Fairtrade and produced by Cafédirect, a company who have superb sustainability credentials. It also tastes phenomenally good.

It also has a nostalgic element for me, reminding me of the best coffee I ever had whilst on a jungle trek in Peru walking through small farm coffee land and heading towards Machu Picchu. This may have been back in 2015 but I can remember every detail it was that good – smooth, nutty, chocolately, slightly sweet and so fresh.

Since discovering the Cafédirect Machu Picchu coffee*, I have the pleasure of making and tasting a fantastic coffee, as well as being temporarily transported back to Peru!

So if you like top quality coffee, this one is for you. Let’s take a closer look at the Machu Picchu coffee first and then on to Cafédirect themselves to find out a little more about this company and how they operate.  

machu picchu inca ruins in peru
Named after the Machu Picchu Inca ruins in Peru. Source:

Disclaimer: This blog does contain affiliate links to the where you can buy Cafédirect Machu Picchu coffee. If you click through this will not affect the price of the coffee at all but I will earn a small commission. I only ever put links to places for you to learn more information or to products that I have tried myself and have a personal, genuine opinion on. Thank you.

Where does Cafédirect Machu Picchu Coffee come from?

Cafédirect’s Machu Picchu coffee is grown in the Inca heartland of the Peruvian Andes.

The coffee takes it name from the sacred and iconic site of ancient Inca ruins that are found in the south of Peru. Machu Picchu is around 50 miles to the north west of Cusco, an amazing place to which the wider coffee growing region is named after. It’s from the Cusco coffee region where the plants are grown for this coffee.

Both Machu Picchu and Cusco are must-visit places if you ever find yourself in Peru! Here’s a great guide to living in Cusco if you ever fancy it.

The map below roughly shows the central sitting highlands of Peru where the majority of their coffee is grown and produced. It also shows the site of Machu Picchu in relation.

coffee growing region of Peru on a map showing machu picchu
Machu Picchu and the main coffee growing region of Peru. Source: Google Maps

Organic, Fairtrade coffee from Peru

Peru is well-known for its small-farm, organic coffee production high in the Andes.

The Machu Picchu coffee from Cafédirect is certified as organic by the Soil Association Organic. Certified organic means the coffee grown and produced without the need for any artificial chemicals or pesticides, has minimal environmental impact and helps maintain healthy soils.

Most farms in Peru are sized at just under 3 hectares, meaning more care and attention is given to each Arabica coffee plant, resulting in its excellent quality. This more ethical way of growing coffee has seen Peru develop as a speciality producer and great place for responsibly sourced coffee. Peru is also the largest exporter of organic coffee in the world.

Cafédirect’s Machu Picchu coffee can be fully traced back to its origins high in the Peruvian Andes where it’s grown by the Huadquiña co-operative. The Huadquiña farms operate between 1,800-2,200m above sea level where they produce 100% Arabica coffee which is Fairtrade certified.

This type of coffee is arguably the most cared for, cleanest tasting, sustainably produced and environmentally friendliest coffee you can get.

ben on jungle trek in peru to machu picchu after coffee
On the jungle trek towards Machu Picchu, just after one of the freshest coffees I’ve ever had

Overview of Cafédirect Machu Picchu Coffee

  • Origin: Cusco coffee region, grown by Huadquiña co-operative
  • Coffee type: 100% Arabica, 100% organic
  • Process: Hand-picked, wet-mill processed
  • Strength: 4
  • Notes: Full-bodied, smooth, dark chocolate, nutty
  • How to brew: French press cafetiere or V60 filter are my preferences
  • Certifications:
    • Soil Association Organic
    • Fairtrade
    • Vegan

“Great coffee is a combination of many things – the land, the customs we inherit, the climate and the market. Fair prices have transformed not only my community but our coffee too. Try it – I’m sure you’ll agree.”

Guillermo Aguilar, Coffee grower, Peru

The Cafedirect Machu Picchu coffee comes ground primarily for cafetieres and reusable coffee filter types. The only negative side for me with this Machu Picchu coffee is the packaging it comes in. This is a foil-lined plastic coffee bag, which unfortunately makes it non-recyclable.

I know Cafedirect are working on this and have released more recent coffee blends that come in recyclable coffee bags – one of these examples is found just below with their London Fields range.

So although a slight mark with the coffee, it’s an issue on the radar and one that is hopefully being resolved.

Who is Cafédirect?

cafedirect machu picchu organic coffee brewing
A small brew of Cafédirect Machu Picchu coffee. Buy yours here*

Cafédirect are a pioneering coffee company. They formed in 1991 as a result of four organisations, including Oxfam, that wanted to find a more direct, personal way to buy coffee.

They have a number of ‘firsts’ to their name here in the UK:

  • First B Corp Certified coffee companyB Corp Certification means that a company balances their purpose with profit. To be a certified B-Corp, a company must meet a number of strict criteria to show they meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance as well as public transparency and legal accountability. Simply put, B-Corps use their business as a means for a greater good. Other B-corps include Patagonia, Brewdog, CIRCA5000 and Bulb Energy.
  • First Fairtrade hot drinks company – Having first registered with Fairtrade in 1994, Cafédirect have a 25 year history of treating its producers with the respect they deserve. In return they get high quality coffee.

Cafédirect are a company that care. On their website, their vision is for ‘a rebalanced world which celebrates business as a force for good and measures success in the shared wellbeing of the communities it touches.’

Giving back to the coffee community

They act on their rebalancing vision too and have built long term relationships with coffee farmers and co-operatives across the world.

Alongside their Fairtrade commitments to farmers, Cafédirect have invested over 50% of their profits back into the farmer communities they work with through the Producers Direct charity.

In 2019, Cafédirect invested a total of £1m back into the producer communities whilst making a profit for the business of £156k.

Cafédirect’s way of operating coupled with their 25 year relationship with Fairtrade and focus on sourcing organic products all helps to promote a healthy, thriving environment that looks after the earth and people. Their four pillars of customers, growers, environment and business aim to create a long-term sustainable and commercially successful business.

organic arabica coffee house plant
I’m growing my own Arabica coffee house plant – I’ll let you know if I get a bean in 5 years time

Environmental impact and Cafédirect

The only downside I can see is the non-recyclable foil-lined bags used for packaging. This is a very common problem with coffee packaging which needs to be kept as fresh as can be once it’s been roasted.

According to the Cafédirect annual review, an eco-friendly packaging solution is on their priority list to address.

The review says they have explored home composting packaging but are now focussing on a recyclable solution. It’s a shame the compostable packaging hasn’t worked out but I’m not entirely surprised as it’s a tricky area to get right. Make sure you compost your coffee grounds and filter paper if used.

A couple of other coffee companies have made progress here though and I’ve talked previously about Omnidegradable packaging and 100% plant-based biodegradable packaging which provide more environmentally friendly solutions.

I look forward to seeing their progress.

Where you can buy Cafédirect Machu Picchu

Now you know all about Cafédirect Machu Picchu you’ve got to give it a sample.

Its available in a number of supermarkets or if you want to get it online, the Ethical Superstore is a great place. You can buy your Machu Picchu coffee from the Ethical Superstore* as a single bag or case pack of 6, as ground coffee or whole beans.

The Ethical Superstore features the widest selection of Cafédirect products in the UK and is definitely worth a look at. You can also find their range of high quality single origin coffees, including Mayan Gold and Cauca Valley, which are also fantastic.

New coffee: Cafedirect London Fields review

Cafedirect recently sent me a couple of samples from their new London Fields range.

Freshly roasted from their small-batch, London Fields roastery and available on their online shop, the London Fields range is available on the Cafedirect subscription plan. You can select a weekly, fortnightly or monthly free deliveries.

You can also get limited-edition coffees on a one-off purchase, which is what I tend to prefer.

I’ve tried two of their speciality coffees, which were both exceptionally good:

  • Omar Guzman from Colombia
  • Chapadao from Brazil

I love how specific and traceable each of these speciality coffees are. Each of these coffees came packaged in a recyclable LDPE 4 plastic bag. Although still plastic, this is a more ethical and sustainable approach to coffee.

london fields cafedirect coffee

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Ben & Murphy Peaks Mam Tor

I’m the Creator and Editor of Tiny Eco Home Life. I write and publish information about living a more sustainable, environmentally friendly life. Away from the laptop, I love spending time in nature and with my young family (plus Murphy the dog!). I write and send out the Eco Life Newsletter.