Bolivia has an interesting coffee history and, although it was exporting close to 85,000 bags in the early 2000, Bolivian coffees almost disappeared at the end of the last decade. In 2017, only 20,000 bags were exported. A tiny portion of these were sold as Specialty grade. The reasons for this are multiple but the main one was the coffee rust that hit the coffee regions very hard and decimated many farms. After that big loss, and after the decision of the government to allow the production of coca in some districts of Bolivia, many producers decide to start growing coca leaves (the base ingredient in the preparation of cocaine) instead of coffee. Coca is a lot more profitable than coffee per hectare and you can harvest it about 5 times a year which gives income to the producers and their family throughout the year. A lot of the coffee in the country has been traditionally grown under organic conditions. However, the lack of knowledge and training led to farms that look completely more like forest with coffee trees that carry very few leaves and even less cherries. Many of the producers think that organic farming means: not to do anything in your parcel than harvesting. That also contributed to the big drop in production. Therefore, its very difficult to find Specialty coffees from Bolivia these days.
Caranavi known as the capital of coffee is located in the lush forest of the Yungas region. This is where the famous Death Road follows the Andes Mountains from the dry Altiplano to the lush green forest of the Amazon jungle. All the exportable products from the region have to travel this treacherous road to be processed and exported from La Paz. In the 50's, the government gave parcels of 10 hectares of tropical land to people and, as a consequence, many people moved to Caranavi region and became farmers. This unique region has two climates and is home to the most fertile soil and is consequently where the majority of coffee in Bolivia is produced nowadays. However, producers only plant 2 to 4 hectares of their plots with coffee trees, the rest remains as wild forest.
- Flavours: Plums, fresh hazelnuts, almonds
- Origin: Caranavi, Bolivia
- Process: Fully washed
- Variety: Caturra, Catuai
- Altitude: 1700 metres above sea level
- Roast: Filter