Bolivia is a notoriously difficult place to buy and export high-quality coffees—with the biggest challenge being transporting coffee from farm to dry mill to ship in a timely fashion and at the right humidity level. Those who know and love Bolivian coffees from this region know of the challenges of trucking them from the mountains down the affectionately named "Death Road of Coroico" to the very-dry region of El Alto before being packed on ships in Peru to finally voyage to us.
We've purchased from the Cenaproc cooperative in Bolivia since 2006, and each year we refine the process we use to get the best coffees. This year we introduced new standards for quality and strengthened our partnerships with the Cenaproc cooperative and a local cupping lab. This work helps with coffee selection and addressing issues early in the season—setting the stage for better coffee and timely export.
Cenaproc was founded in 1992 and is one of the most-recognized cooperatives in the region. Currently, the cooperative has approximately 171 members that come from three main areas close to their wet mill in Caranavi: Nueva Llusta, Nueva Canaan, and Libertador. Cenaproc competed and won awards in the Bolivian Cup of Excellence competition numerous times since 2004.
The average amount of land in production for each producer is between 2–5 hectares. Most producers apply liquid and solid fertilizer that they create on their farms.
Explanation of the Name
"Llusta" means "slippery" in Ayamara, the indigenous language spoken by a number of the producers of this coffee. The town bears this name because, during the rainy season, the earth turns to mud and becomes quite slippery. In addition, mud is a valued resource for the community, as many of the houses are constructed of bricks made from the hardened mud.
Nueva Llusta, Bolivia
Nueva Llusta is located in the Yungas jungle in Bolivia’s western mountains. Most coffee farmers in Bolivia are small scale with between one and eight hectares. Though this area has the perfect ingredients for quality coffee production, it has struggled for a while because of insufficient infrastructure. In the early 2000s, the government began focusing more on enhancing the necessary infrastructure for success of their coffee market.
Agrarian land reform began in 1953, but it was not until the '60s and '70s that land reform was a large part of Bolivia’s national agenda. Agrarian families were then given title to land and encouraged to move back to rural areas to cultivate citrus and coffee. Since Evo Morales has been in power in the early 2000s, he has continued to give land incentives to rural farmers, which have made coffee farming a more viable livelihood for individuals.
The producers in Nueva Llusta generally have a great amount of shade and often grow a variety of citrus and fruit trees in addition to their coffee production. They are also known for their success with processing the coffees on their own farms before taking the coffee to the dry mill.
Luis' family consists of four people: Luis, his wife, and two children. His farm is called "Finca Huayhua" after his last name because he puts so much effort into it. An expert in coffee farming and processing, Luis often shares his knowledge with nearby farmers, and his passion for excellence is not only contagious, but evident in his farm. Luis has approximately 10 hectares of property total, of which about 5.5 hectares are used for coffee cultivation. There are a number of shade trees on his property in addition to agricultural products consumed by his family. The farm's coffee trees are between 10- and 25-years-old.
Tasting Notes: Creamy, Plum, Nutty
Variety: Caturra and Catuai
Elevation: 1,750 meters
Drying: Raised beds
Harvest Time: June–October 2015