||Bolivia La Linda Coco Natural Longberry 2018
Coffee production in Bolivia was traditionally concentrated in the region of Los Yungas, where lush sub-tropical vegetation and environmental conditions helped to produce the amazing-quality Bolivian coffee that we all know and love.
Caranavi is located north of the department of La Paz city. It's 150 kilometres from the capital, and it is the centre of Bolivian coffee production. Its fertile soils and altitude give Bolivia the potential to produce brilliant and unique coffees.
Due to the many complications and challenges within the Bolivian coffee industry, many of the smaller farms we have worked with in the past are no longer producing coffee. Whilst this has created some challenges for us, it has had a much more significant impact on our exporting partners AgriCafe, who have been working with these growers for many years. As a result, they have decided to begin farming themselves, in an effort to demonstrate what can be achieved with the application of more modern techniques and a scientific farming approach.
Agricafe now manage seven farms, of which La Linda was the first to bear fruit. La Linda is known as The Seed Garden for the other farms in the Buena Vista project. Alongside this Caturra lot, the farm is producing Longberry, Catuai and Typica lots; it's also producing Java, SL28 and Bourbon, which are all new plantings in Bolivia. All the coffee has been picked by a group of seven specifically-trained female workers.
Processing coffee in the Natural style isn’t common in Bolivia and it presents a number of challenges with their conditions. However the Rodriguez family saw the value that Natural (and Honey) processed coffees could bring in terms of diversifying the range of flavours you get, so they decided to invest both money and effort into creating a way of doing these processes which would work in Bolivia.
When they were asked about this new method of processing their coffee, they called it “Coco” - so in fact all the Natural processed coffee we have from Bolivia could also be nicknamed “Coco Processed”.
The process is...
Cherries selected - As I’ll explain in a moment, they can only do small batches of Naturals at a time, so a lot of attention is paid to only choosing the very ripest cherries, from the beginning. Ripeness is checked both by colour and using measurement of the sugar content of the fruit.
Sun drying on raised beds - having checked the weather reports so they know to expect a period without rain, the selected cherries are laid out on raised beds in the sun. During this period, the cherries are moved around every 30 minutes to make sure the drying is even and any slightly under or over ripe cherries are piked out. They will stay outside for between 1 and 3 days, depending on the weather. To finish this stage, they may be moved to inside greenhouses with material to block out UV and keep the heat in.
Drying out in stationary driers - The cherries then need to be dried out to a stable moisture, where more fermentation won’t occur. To do this, they have built large boxes with hot air vented in through the bottom. These “Stationary Driers” keep the temperature below 40C for the 40 to 50 hours it takes to finish drying the cherries. During this stage, the coffee is moved every hour (again, to keep the process even across all the cherries).
In the cup it's a tropical fruit dessert mash up! Key lime pie fights with mango puree and grapefruit jelly, with the winner getting a sprinkle of cocoa powder on top to finish it off.
Farm: La Linda
Altitude: 1,400 - 1,450 m.a.s.l.
Farm size: 10.53 hectares
Coffee production area: 3.92 hectares
Processing Method: Coco Natural
GPS: 15º47'49.97"S, 67º32'39.72"O
Medium - get it through first and slow it down, but don't let this get near second crack.
"Quick Look" Guide
Key lime pie, mango puree, grapefruit jelly, cocoa powder.
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