Bolivia Washed Arabica Green Coffee Beans (1kg)
The telephone order Price is
|Owner / Farm||Los Rodriguez|
|SCA Cup score and notes||85 Blueberries, apricot jam and nougart.
Bolivian coffee harvest runs from April (below 1,000 masl) to October (up to 2,000 masl). In 2006 the country exported 85,000 bags of green coffee. The coffee rust hit the region very hard after that and the production dropped to 20,000 in 2017. The increase of the coca production also led to a decrease of the coffee production. Indeed, as soon as the coca production became legal in some areas of Bolivia, many farmers switched coffee production to coca production which is more profitable (5 harvests a year with big profit). Caranavi known as the capital of coffee is located in the lush forest of the Yungas region. This is where the famous Death Road follows the Andes Mountains from the dry Altiplano to the lush green forest of the Amazon jungle. This unique region has two climates and is home to the most fertile soil and consequently where the majority of coffee in Bolivia is produced nowadays. All the coffee has to travel this treacherous road to be processed and exported from La Paz.Every Wednesday in Caranavi is market day and people come in from their small communities to buy basic goods to stock up for the week; all kinds of potatoes, pastas, quinoa, vegetables, toilet paper, dried llama meat. The majority of the population here is native, and vibrant colours and bowler hats complimented this beautiful market.Agricafe is a business owned by the Rodriguez family and has been started in 1986. By then, the family used to rent wet mills in Caranavi region, buying cherries from 2,000 producers and in 2001 they built their actual wet mill, called Buena Vista, in Caranavi. They, very quickly, built a dry mill in la Paz and then started exporting operations. In 2013, a few years after the national drop of production, they decided to buy land and start farming as well. They now have 8 farms in Caranavi region (60 ha) and 5 farms in Samaipata region (60 ha). Up to 300 people are working for the company at the peak season. They hire agronomists from different countries as consultants every year.The total farm runs on 4 hectares fully planted with coffee trees of 4 varieties: Red and Yellow Caturra and Red and Yellow Catuai under native tree shade system: citrus, papaya and avocado. This farm has been rehabilitated in 2015 with the first seedlings and the first beans were harvested in 2017The red and yellow caturras are grown separately from the other varieties, to experiment with the taste of an exclusive red or yellow cup. The cherries are harvested and taken to Buena Vista Mill the same day where they are honey processed. After some mechanical pulping that removes part of the pulp, the beans are directly moved to raised beds for 3-4 days before being dried in mechanical dryers: big square boxes with hot air flow at the bottom. When on sunbeds, coffee is moved every 30 min in the morning and every hour in the afternoon. When on the boxes, coffee is moved every hour. The temperature in the mechanical dryers never goes over 40 degrees Celsius and MC and T are controlled at all time with MC/T meters. When they reached 12% MC and after a few hours of resting, all coffee is bagged with Ecotact and Jute/plastic bags and sent to the dry mill in La Paz with sample bags on the side. The lots sit there in parchment until they are prepared for export.After milling, cupping and after making sure the moisture content is around 11%, the coffee is bagged in Ecotact and jute bags before being exported through Arica port in Chile.
Villa Rosario area is part of the Caranavi district and is located between 1,550 and 1,650 masl. This lot has been produced by various producers from the area. All of them are part of the Sol de la Mañana program.
30 to 40 families live in that area producing coffee.
We visited Valentin, his son Rodolfo and his grandson Neymar for the second year in a row. Valentin’s and Rodolfo’s coffee are part of the Villa Rosario lots.
After leaving the seedlings in the nursery for a year, Rodolfo planted Java on 2.5 ha that come in addition to another 4 ha he has planted with Typica, Catuai and Caturra. They hire 8 pickers for 4 ha during the harvest season. He used to have tea planted in his parcel and is struggling to get rid of the plants that keep growing back.
The Rust is pretty vigorous in the region as the altitude is around 1,400-1,600 masl and foliar application is still needed to avoid the plants to be contaminated.
Valentin has 5 ha in total and the seedlings planted last year are doing very well and showing promising results for next harvest.
The families deliver the cherries picked every day (during the harvest period)
Each berry is picked one by one to ensure maximum ripeness and each plant would receive multiple passes over the months-long harvest.