Bolivia is a notoriously difficult place to source and export high-quality coffees. We have purchased from the Cenaproc cooperative since 2006, and, each year, we refine the process we use to obtain their best coffees. Again this year, we see the results of several years of intense communication, fine-tuning, and dedication to detail in the delicious coffees that we sourced from Nueva Llusta.
The biggest challenge in Bolivia is moving 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.
Cenaproc was founded in 1992 and is one of the most-recognized cooperatives in the region. Currently, the cooperative has about 171 members that come from three main areas close to their wet mill in Caranavi—Nueva Llusta, Nueva Caanan, and Libertador. They have 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 two and five hectares. Most producers apply liquid and solid fertilizer that they create on site.
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 indeed. In addition, the 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.
We work closely with the cooperative’s commercial manager, Pedro Patana, to organize the producer information and flow of shipments. Mr. Patana is also a producer and he has multiple family members who are a part of the cooperative as well. We have also worked for a number of years with Maria Ndia, the owner of Vicopex, the dry miller of all of Cenaproc’s coffees. She helps ensure on time and organized shipments of Cenaproc’s coffee as well.
Variety: Typica and Caturra
Elevation: 1,550–1,800 meters
Post-Harvest Process: Fermented for 18 hours and then washed. Dried on raised beds; the drying process is usually overseen by women.
Harvest Time: May–October 2013
Certification: Counter Culture Direct Trade Certified