Honey. Walnuts. Toffee.
Producers: Pedro Flores
Elevation: 1,400 - 1,600 masl
Varietals: Typica, Caturra and Catuaí
Sourced By: Melbourne Coffee Merchants
Bring On Bolivia! from MCM on Vimeo.
Information on this coffee from the trader:
"This coffee was produced by Pedro Flores in the ‘colony’ or settlement of Villa Rosario, which is located in the heart of the Caranavi province. This region is the epicentre for coffee production in Bolivia, with incredibly high altitudes, rich soil and wide daily temperature ranges - providing the perfect conditions to produce exceptional quality coffee.
Despite its international recognition and highly sought-after coffees, production of coffee in Caranavi (and across Bolivia more broadly) has fallen dramatically in recent years. A combination of ageing coffee plantations, unsophisticated farming techniques and leaf rust have contributed to dramatically reduced yields, and this, combined with the competing coca industry (which is illegal in Caranavi but appealing as it is more lucrative for farmers), has seen coffee production more than halve over the last five years. To try to save coffee production in Bolivia and build a more sustainable future for it, our export partners, Daniela, Pedro and Pablo Rodriguez of Agricafe, have started a project called Sol de Manaña.
Pedro Flores has sold his coffee to the Rodriguez family for many years and was invited to join the Sol de Manaña program in 2015. The program is focused on providing technical assistance and education to help producers improve both quality and yield. At Buena Vista, where Pedro processes his coffee, the Rodriguez family has set up a model farm, and holds regular workshops with the members of the program, showing them how to prune their trees and manage their plantations in a sophisticated and systematic way.
Pedro’s farm is 10 hectares in size and is located 1,400 – 1,600m above sea level. The farm is planted with heirloom Caturra, Catuaí, and Typica varieties, and harvest runs from May to September, peaking in June and July. The coffee trees grow in a rich clay soil under the protective shade of native forest trees, whose heavy leaf fall creates a natural mulch fertiliser, and whose canopy provides an important habitat for the many bird and insect species in the area.
This particular lot from Pedro Flores was carefully hand-picked on the 12 of July 2016, and processed on the same day at the Buena Vista washing station which is located just outside of Caranavi. This meticulously run washing station is owned by the Rodriguez family of Agricafe, who painstakingly process each of the exceptional specialty lots they receive separately, allowing for full traceability back to the individual farmer or colony.
Evenings at the mill are always bustling as arrivals of fresh cherries begin in the late afternoon (after the day’s picking) and continue deep into the night. It is widely known around Caranavi that only perfectly ripe cherries will be accepted by this mill and all lots are inspected on arrival prior to processing. In an arrangement somewhat unique to this mill, many farmers use taxis to deliver coffee, and by 7pm in the evening a long line of taxi cabs forms along the road leading to the mill.
Once dry, each lot is comprehensively cupped and evaluated by Wilfredo Calles, Head of Quality Control at Buena Vista Washing Station
After the coffee was pulped using a Penagos depulper, and dried without fermentation, on raised beds, in an open greenhouse that has adjustable walls which can be raised to allow maximum ventilation. The shade of the greenhouse provides protection against the sun and ensures that the parchment does not break, allowing the coffee to dry slowly and evenly. While drying, the coffee was turned regularly to ensure it dried evenly, and carefully inspected for any defects (often more visible in wet parchment).
Once the coffee was dry, it was transported to La Paz where it was rested, and then milled at the Rodriguez family’s brand new dry mill. At the mill, the coffee was carefully screened again by machines and also by hand.
Pedro Flores worked hard to collect and process the cherries for this special 30-bag lot. The cherries come from the most elevated part of the farm, where the ripening process was slow, allowing the sugars to develop and resulting in a very sweet coffee. The result is exceptional. We are very excited to be able to share this beautiful coffee with you and hope you enjoy it!"