The potential of Bolivian coffees intrigued us, so we began traveling to source unique offerings from the country’s diligent producers in 2011. After those initial trips, however, we knew there was room for improvement. We are currently involved in projects with producers from the remote communities of Villa Imperial and San Luis in the Taipiplaya region as well as communities in the Loa region to improve their methods. We’ve also developed a strong relationship with the Buena Vista mill near the city of Caranavi, strengthening our ties to the community.
We started our work in Bolivia in 2011 with ASOCAFE, a mill and cooperative near the remote coffee communities of Villa Imperial and San Luis. Being so high up in the mountains, these communities don’t process their own coffee and instead opt to bring it down to the nearby ASOCAFE. We saw a lot of potential in these incredible coffees grown at high elevations and have worked with the producers to improve their methods through giving feedback on picking techniques, and better prices for quality. We’ve also done extensive work over the past several years with ASOCAFE to improve their processing methods, particularly when it comes to drying. By financing and building raised drying beds and shading structures, we were able to help them to dry coffees slowly and evenly. We’ve also bought GrainPro bags to store the coffee once it is dried, helping to protect it from humidity in the warehouse and during its treacherous journey to the mill in the Bolivian capital of La Paz.
In 2013, we started working with another Bolivian coffee mill called Buena Vista in Caranavi. This mill is quite sophisticated and we are excited about the opportunities to experiment and build larger lots of coffee from Bolivia – most farmers in Bolivia produce very small amounts of coffee. From our relationship with Buena Vista, we discovered a couple great producers who we’re keen to continue to build relationships with: Juan Coquira and Celia Condori.
Coffee from Bolivia has the potential to be truly incredible, and each year we work more with the Bolivian people, we’re seeing more of this potential realized. Sebastian travels there frequently, working closely with the communities and the mills to monitor and improve, as well as fostering new found friendships with the producers and their families.
Typical Bolivian Harvest Schedule
- O5 Tea
- Classes & Events
Feature Partner: Revolucion Coffee and Juice (San Antonio, TX)
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