||Bolivia Finca Machacamarca de Berengula Peaberry 2011
||Variety: Criollo (80%), Caturra (20%) all Pea
The legend is back, this is a huge huge coffee, one of our most important and one of my all time favorites. This is a world exclusive coffee, we buy everything from this farm, and we are the only ever buyer of this coffee.
We first stocked this coffee from the 2007 Cup of Excellence lot, and it very quickly became our favourite of that year. It also proved to be one of your overall favourites regardless of its Cup of Excellence price premium. This is now the third year now of building on this relationship, culminating in me spending the week in July 2010 living with the family, picking the coffee and helping with processing. It was one of the most stunning weeks of my life, and the hospitality of Mario and Maria was amazing.
I first met Mario who owns the farm, with his sister Maria, in Corico on the Friday of the 2007 competition when we went to an awards ceremony for the coffees that had made it to the international jury finals. We didn't know who had won or which coffees we had cupped, just that these guys were behind them. It was a great chance to meet the farmers, as I had an early flight booked and would not be at the presentation day on the Saturday.
The meeting place was in something that I can only compare to a greenhouse. The heat was the worst I've ever experienced. A week of travelling around the local area, crammed with far more work than is good for anyone and some serious heat took its toll. I had to go outside and grab some fresh air. Whilst there I got chatting to one of the farmers who then disappeared to kindly get me a bottle of water, which was one of the best things I could have wished for at the time. We chatted some more, swapped business cards and that was that. When he got his certificate, I asked if he minded me having a photo taken with him, and wished him the best for following day.
Once back home, I looked through my cupping scores and decided what I was going to go for as my number one lot of choice in the auction. This coffee was it. I also decided it didn't matter how much this coffee cost, we were going to secure it. It was only after looking through my business cards that I found out it was Mario who I had met and got on with so well. Since then we have exchanged emails and I really like Mario. They were also really pleased that we were the ones to secure the lot. I have found that it means more when you get to know the individuals involved with coffee, and it seems to work both ways too.
So taking advantage of this special relationship, with the help of our importers who work with exporters and are fluent Spanish speakers, I started to speak with Mario to see if we could secure the coffee for this year. This is our first world exclusive coffee where we have bought all of the beans from the farm. It is only available at Has Bean. We have also tied in some incentives to maintain and improve quality, and paid a great price that is way above the fair trade price, directly into Mario's hands.
This is the Peaberry version of this coffee. Over the past few years this little gem was blended away with a really ordinary, commodity coffee, never to be seen again. I found this out on my trip in the summer of 2010, and begged them to separate it out for me. A little extra work for them but we promised to pay a little more for it. Finally they said yes, but I bought it without being able to cup it or try it, but a worthwhile calculated risk when buying from such an amazing farm. I think that the gamble has paid off in the cup. You will find it is cleaner than the standard Machacamarca, meaning you see more of the acidity, which changes from a grape like one to a lemon/citrus style. There is a trade off in that the body is smaller, and the sweetness is toned down a notch or two, but remains delicious.
Farm: Machacamarca BV
Farmer: Maria and Mario Nina Lupe del Rosario Andrade
Farm Size: 67.00 Hectares
Coffee growing area: 5.00 Hectares
Altitude: 1790 masl
Variety: Criollo (80%), Caturra (20%) all Peaberry
Type of Soil: Clay
Average Annual Rainfall: 1,790 mm
Type of Shade: Hardwoods, citrus
Weeding: Twice per year
Pruning: Sanitary pruning
Processing System: On-site wet processing, solar drying
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