A few 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 the lot came from just one producer in the area. His name is Vincent Paye. That year we 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. It has steep slopes and valleys that provide excellent conditions for growing high-quality coffee, and they also support a diverse range of native flora and fauna. The area 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 (m.a.s.l.), 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 follow the principles of organic farming not because of certification but because they want to look after their farms and land in the best way they possibly can.
The main harvest runs from May to September, peaking around July and August. The cherries are handpicked when they're fully ripe, and they're then delivered to the central mill, called Buena Vista, where they are fully washed.
Bolivia is a challenging origin 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 alongside his family, and increasing his yield – as well as increasing the quality of his coffee.
A gentle red apple kicks things off, but it's followed up with a really interesting sweetness like a Caramac bar - kind of creamy and caramel. On the aftertaste is clean dark chocolate which rounds it out and balances it nicely.
- Country: Bolivia
- Region: Yungas
- Municipality: Caranavi
- Town: Copacabana
- Farm: Vincent Paye
- Altitude: 1,550 m.a.s.l.
- Producer: Vincent Paye
- Varietal: Red and Yellow Caturra
- Processing: Washed
Red apple, Caramac, dark chocolate
Clean cup: (1–8): 6
Sweetness: (1–8): 7
Acidity: (1–8): 6
Mouthfeel: (1–8): 6
Flavour: (1–8): 6.5
Aftertaste: (1–8): 6.5
Balance: (1–8): 7
Overall: (1–8): 6
Correction: (+36): +36
Total: (max. 100): 87
Medium-dark – keep the pace steady through first crack and through the gap, looking to finish the roast just before 2nd gets going.