||Bolivia Machacamarca BV Maria and Mario Andrade 2011
||Varietal: Criollo (80%), Caturra (20%)
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 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 Cup of Excellence 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 the year. This was our first world exclusive coffee where we 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 coffee needs its own scoring system. It is one of the most complete, rounded and balanced coffees I have ever tasted. Sweetness of caramel and chocolate, mixed with a white grape acidity that adds acidity to more sweetness, then the big body, smooth aftertaste that lingers into milk chocolate. It's as close to my perfect cup as I have found. Add to a milk based drink and it turns into a big doughnut of sweet caramel.
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%)
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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