A couple of years back we had a lot that was produced by various smallholder farmers from the small town of Copacabana, which lies about 180 kilometres from La Paz in the heart of the Caranavi coffee-producing region. Then in 2016 things changed a little and it then came from just one producer in the area, whose name is Vincent Paye. That year I described him as a beacon of hope in a tough growing region, and that beacon has continued to shine brightly.
Caranavi is a lush and fertile region with steep slopes and valleys providing excellent conditions for growing high quality coffee, while also supporting a diverse range of native flora and fauna. It has rich volcanic soils and regular rainfall - coffee growing heaven.
The colony of Copacabana has a collection of small farms that are each around five hectares in size (although Vincent has ten hectares). The farms range over an altitude of 1,300 to 1,700 metres above sea level, and they benefit from an average annual temperature between 15 and 26°C. This lot comes from Vincent's farm which is very similar to neighbouring farms and is at an altitude of around 1,550 m.a.s.l. These traditional farms use no chemicals or pesticides and are certified organic, although we do not currently hold an organic certification ourselves.
The main harvest runs from May to September, peaking around July and August. The cherries are handpicked when fully ripe, and they're then delivered to the central mill, called Buena Vista, where they are fully washed.
Bolivia is a challenge and is going through some tough times: dwindling crops, ageing plants, lack of varietal diversity and ageing producers with children who have little to no interest in carrying on the family business. But then there are people like Vincent who are doing wonderful work to buck that trend. He's been planting new stock, working hard with his family, and increasing his yield – and also the quality of his coffee.
In the cup this is super creamy - both in flavour and texture. That cream is joined by hints of walnut and red apple, before soft peach drifts in on the aftertaste. All of this makes for a really well balanced coffee that keeps drawing you back in for another sip.
- Country: Bolivia
- Region: Yungas
- Municipality: Caranavi
- Town: Copacabana
- Farm: Vincent Paye
- Altitude: 1,550 m.a.s.l.
- Owner: Vincent Paye
- Varietal: Red & Yellow Caturra
- Processing: Washed
Cream, walnut, red apple, peach.
Clean cup: (1–8): 6
Sweetness: (1–8): 6
Acidity: (1–8): 6
Mouthfeel: (1–8): 7
Flavour: (1–8): 7
Aftertaste: (1–8): 6
Balance: (1–8): 8
Overall: (1–8): 7
Correction: (+36): +36
Total: (max. 100): 89
Medium dark - through first, let it develop nicely and look for the first pops of second on the drop.