Bolivian Coffee of the Month
Varietal – Caturra and Criolla
Preparation – Washed
Location – Caranavi valley, La Paz
Altitude – 1200-1750 masl
Importer - DR Wakefield
We recently featured this fantastic coffee from Bolivia as our subscription coffee of the month. Bolivian coffee isn't easy to get hold of in the UK as they produce a relatively small amount, and it's a logistically challenging country to export from.
This coffee comes from a small group of 42 women coffee producers who work together as a cooperative of farmers assited by the Cafe Femenino organization.
The following extract is taken from Cafe Femenino:
'Overcoming a variety of barriers, including geographic isolation, rugged terrain, and traditionally lower status in society, the women of Café Femenino Bolivia Program have successfully improved their coffee-producing livelihoods, their prospects, and the health of their families and communities. It all started in 2009, when the women separated their coffee production from the men's, created a women's association, and started their own Café Femenino Program in Bolivia. One of the first advancements the women in Bolivia achieved upon joining Café Femenino was having their names included on the titles to their land. By doing so, the land remains with each woman if she becomes abandoned or is widowed, thereby protecting from further poverty for herself and her children. Psychologically, this act instils a sense of value and ownership over each woman's livelihood and business. This is a powerful means of creating self-esteem for women accustomed to being viewed as servants to their husbands.
The women have reported a host of positive changes in their lives and their communities since joining Café Femenino in 2009. For them, the most valuable difference is their successful creation of a cooperative space in which all women have educational opportunities and the chance to have their voices, ideas, and opinions heard at the highest level of leadership. The changes these women have fought for have taken them far from the positions of inferiority and subjugation from which they started. Beginning from a place of low self-esteem and self-worth, the Café Femenino Bolivia Program women now view themselves as businesswomen in charge of their destiny. And with the control of their own money, they can funnel their resources in the direction of their children and community.'
This coffee has been processed as a fully washed coffee after careful hand-harvesting from Caturra and Criolla (a variant of Typica) trees. After processing to remove the fruit the coffee is sundried to a moisture content of about 12% before being prepared for dry milling and export.
This is a great example of a clean, well rounded, washed processed coffee. We find this coffee has gentle fruit flavours that include red apple, brown sugar and subtle orange notes.