Rarity 03: Bolivia La Llama Natural Geisha Hawaii


Bean name Rarity 03: Bolivia La Llama Natural Geisha Hawaii
Country Rarities
Region Caranavi, Los Yungas
Other info Blueberry, sweet lemon, lychee, peach tea, cloudy lemonade


Surrounded by streams and lush forest, 1650 metres above sea level in the Caranavi region of Bolivia you'll find Finca La Llama. This farm is owned by the Rodriguez family in Caranavi, and it's their only farm in the Villa Asuncion Colonia. Veteran Hasbean fans will already know of the Rodriguez family - our amazing long-time friends who make everything we get from Bolivia possible. It's a bit of an experience to reach the highest point on the farm: you have to jump in a 4x4 and travel on some winding roads with the land rising steeply on either side. You'll also find yourself winding past perfectly arranged rows of coffee trees. Beautiful!

The farm got it's name on the Rodriguez's first visit there, having previously been known as Puerto de Cuelo. Looking around the farm they were planning to buy, they came across a llama. It’s the beloved national animal of Bolivia and, in their words:

"[...] we encountered a llama that with its pointy ears, alert look and proud stance seemed to be saying 'come near my land and I’ll spit on you.'"

With local people working the land and managing what happens on the farm, it's become a fantastic example of what can be achieved with local knowledge and best practices. It had already been producing coffee for fifteen years, but when the Rodriguez family took over they wanted to renovate and remodel the farm to prove that it is possible to create a new coffee plantation on an older coffee growing area. The intention is to demonstrate that such things are possible and to hopefully inspire others to follow their lead and renovate the ageing coffee-growing areas of the country.

The farm grows Java (Longberry), Geisha, Yellow Caturra, SL 28, SL 34, Bourbon, Batian and Ethiosar. Geisha is a super interesting varietal that has attracted a lot of attention among coffee lovers in the last few years. It’s become famous for its complex floral flavours that are reminiscent of Ethiopian coffees, but is grown in Central America.

But what’s a Geisha 'Hawaii'?!! It turns out it isn’t a cocktail: it’s a particularly specific lineage of the Geisha. The plant stock we call Geisha came to Central America from Ethiopia in the 1950s, after which it was forgotten (it’s not a very practical plant for producers to grow) until it was rediscovered in Panama. Now, this Panamanian Geisha is the one we’re all most familiar with. It's floral, perfumed, and light-bodied. On the way to Panama, the plants first went through Costa Rica, and some of the original stock has survived there too. Geisha Hawaii is the Rodriguez family's name for this Geisha plant from Costa Rica. This is the same lineage as some of our favourite Costa Rican Geishas, such as the one from Finca Licho. That fact just adds to our excitement to see it grown at La Llama. If you’ve tried the Panamanian Geisha from El Fuerte, you'll find that this is a great example of the difference in the two lineages (we'll be seeing that back again this year too, along with a Washed and a Honey Panamanian Geisha from Alasitas!). It lives up to the 'Hawaii' bit of its name, too; it's less floral, more tropical, less delicate, and juicier.

This is a natural processed coffee. It’s not one traditional to Bolivia, but an innovation brought in by the Rodriguez family over the last few years. They say necessity is the mother of invention, and that’s true here. The difficult economic conditions for coffee growing in Bolivia drove them to look for ways to add value and make more varied and unique coffees for their customers. Natural processing was one solution, learnt from visits to other producing countries, but it, in turn, also needed invention as the Bolivian weather isn’t well suited for this process. So they created the Coco Natural process, inventing drying boxes to retain the great qualities we associate with sun dried coffee whilst also protecting from the weather and giving them the control to deliver the super clean and careful processing we see here.

Blueberry and lemon is a great combination, which is in beautiful harmony here. It’s got a big whack of fresh blueberry, with sweet lemon weaving around it in support. As it cools down a little, a hint of lychee and delicate peach tea appear in the finish, before it leaves an aftertaste which reminds me of cloudy lemonade.

- Country: Bolivia
- Region: Los Yungas
- Municipality: Caranavi
- Farm: La Llama
- Producer: The Rodriguez Family
- Altitude: 1,650 m.a.s.l.
- Varietal: Geisha Hawaii
- Process: Natural

Cupping notes

Clean cup None/8
Sweetness None/8
Acidity None/8
Mouthfeel None/8
Flavour None/8
Aftertaste None/8
Balance None/8
Overall None/8
Correction +None
Total None

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