April 9, 2013 by beanerbar
APRIL FEATURED COFFEE
Typica and Caturra
This year’s selection from the Cenaproc cooperative comes from a total of 34 top-notch producers in and around Nueva Llusta, Bolivia. We have found that these lots – the ones processed on individual producers’ farms – are the best Cenaproc offers. In essence, Nueva Llusta is a collection of microlots that are the culmination of multiple years of hard work between the cooperative and Counter Culture. In the cup, you will find a burst of juiciness mingled with baking chocolate, dried cherry, and raisin.
Bolivia is a notoriously difficult place to source and export high-quality coffees. We have purchased from Cenaproc for the last six years, and each year we work together to slightly adjust the process to continually obtain their best coffees possible. This year, in particular, we are able to see the results of four intense years of fine-tuning and dedication to detail.
The biggest challenge is moving this coffee from farm to dry mill to ship in a timely fashion and at the right humidity level. Those who know and love Bolivian coffees from this region know of the challenges of trucking them from the mountains, down the affectionately named “Death Road of Corioco,” to the very dry region of El Alto before being packed on ships in Peru to finally voyage to us.
Cenaproc was founded in 1992 and is one of the most well-recognized cooperatives in the region. Currently, the cooperative has about 171 members that come from three main areas close to their wet mill in Caranavi – Nueva Llusta, Nueva Cannan, and Libertador. They have gained a lot of national and international attention over the last few years. They have competed and won in the Bolivian Cup of Excellence since 2004. Their producers put a lot of time and attention into the care of their coffees. The average amount of land in production for each producer is between 2 and 5 hectares. Most producers apply liquid and solid forms of fertilizer that they create on site.
Nueva Llusta is located in the Yungas jungle in Bolivia’s eastern mountains. Most coffee farmers in Bolivia are small-scale with between one and eight hectares. Though this area has the perfect ingredients for quality coffee production, it has struggled for a while because of insufficient infrastructure. In the early 2000s, the government began focusing more on enhancing the necessary infrastructure for success of their coffee market.
Agrarian land reform began in 1953, but it was not until the ’60s and ’70s that land reform was a large part of Bolivia’s national agenda. Agrarian families were then given title to land and encouraged to move back to rural areas to cultivate citrus and coffee. Since Evo Morales has been in power in the early 2000s, he has continued to give land incentives to rural farmers, which has made coffee farming a more viable livelihood for individuals.
The producers in Nueva Llusta generally have a great amount of shade and often grow a variety of citrus and fruit trees in addition to their coffee production. They are also notoriously successful at processing the coffees on their own farms before taking the coffee to the dry mill.
Over the years, we have interacted most frequently with Pedro Patana, Cenaproc’s Director of Marketing and a coffee producer himself. In fact, Mr. Patana’s family figures prominently into this year’s selection of coffees from the region. He has worn many hats within the cooperative and continues to know its inner workings and help bring the finest of producers’ coffees together.
We also work closely with the dry mill that processes coffees from Cenaproc. Maria Nidia works for Vicopex, the dry mill in La Paz. Her attention to detail, patience, and persistence help insure that this coffee arrives to us at quality level and in a timely manner.
Variety: Typica and Caturra
Elevation: 1,500 – 1,800 meters
Harvest Time: May – October 2012
Process: Fermented for 18 hours and then washed
Drying: Dried on raised beds. The drying process is usually overseen by women.