||Bolivia Finca Loayza Feliciano Ramos Washed Peaberry 2016
||Franja se los Yungas
The owner of the farm is Feliciano Ramos, who is 45 years old and originally from the city of La Paz. His father was a potato and barley producer, and Feliciano used to help him in the production and harvesting. In 2002 Feliciano decided to move to Caranavi, which is located in the sub-Andes valley.
Initially Feliciano rented a coffee farm for two years. Here he began his education in coffee, but he also began saving to buy his own farm. After two years, he bought a farm of around ten hectares. Like many farms in Bolivia, his farm doesn't have a name (most other coffees are named after the person that grew them – David Vilca, for example), but it is in the Loayza municipality and so it's known as Finca Loayza Feliciano Ramos.
The farm is located on top of a small mountain, looking out towards the high snowy peaks of the Andes. Finca Loayza Feliciano Ramos only had two hectares of old coffee plantations, but Feliciano has continued to raise this number whenever he is able to by planting new stock, selecting different varietals according to the terrain.
Feliciano is married to Tomasa Condori and they have five children who are all of school age, but they help their parents with the farm after school (imagine that as a chore after school – makes loading the dishwasher seem like a breeze). Coffee is the only source of money for the family, and so for them it's very important that they continue to produce great coffee.
In the region of Caranavi and the Yungas valleys, there is a serious problem of coffee being ripped out and coca leaf planted (which is legal in Bolivia). This has a big environmental impact on the soil, forests, and communities. However, coffee is seen as a good alternative to this if good prices can be achieved with it, and it is also much kinder to the environment. With this in mind, Feliciano is in his second year of being organic certified, although we chose not to take the certification.
This coffee is sold as a washed coffee, and I guess it is. Washed coffee is normally placed in a fermentation tank to remove the sticky layer on the outside of the seed after removing the fruit. This coffee has been dry fermented, then it has been through a pulping machine a second time using the scrubber part of the pulper, and then it's been left to dry like a pulped natural would be, just without most of the mucilage. It's a hybrid process, and I really like the final result.
Times are tough for coffee farmers in Bolivia at the moment, and Feliciano's yields are massively down. Leaf rust is a huge problem. Feliciano has moved his family and himself off the farm so his wife can work, and he commutes to the farm – not because he wants to, but because this is the only way he can make it work. I wouldn't be surprised to see Feliciano stop growing coffee in the near future unless something changes. To get great coffee out of Bolivia this year has been much harder than normal, and this has meant paying much more for it, but we think it's absolutely worth every penny.
In the cup it's a very deep and complex coffee where cherry cola meets key lime pie. Add to that the sweetness coming from a mixture of caramel and dark chocolate, which just carries on in the aftertaste. It's a unique Bolivian coffee.
Farm: Finca Loayza
Farmer: Feliciano Ramos Aruquipa
Region: Franja se los Yungas
Farm size: 10.00 Hectares
Coffee growing area: 8.00 Hectares
Altitude: 1,635 m.a.s.l.
Type of soil: Clay
Type of shade: orange, mandarin, and Inga (Sinquili) trees
Processing system: Washed (on-site wet processing, solar drying)
If you hear the first pops of second crack it's time to stop. This is a medium to medium dark roast so as not to kill the sweetness.
Quick Look" Guide
Cherry cola, key lime pie, caramel, dark chocolate, sweet.
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