BOLIVIA SAN JUAN
Our featured coffee for May hails from the San Juan Cooperative in Bolivia, and is a fully washed coffee that delivers a low acidity, coupled with a rich body and mouthfeel. Its flavor profile is highlighted by abundant notes of dark chocolate, with a subtle interplay of black cherry and herbal sage notes in the middle of the cup. Towards the end of the cup, the cherry and sage notes gradually fade away, giving way to a long sweet finish with chocolate and caramel notes.
Roast Color: Medium-Dark
Cupping Notes: Dark Chocolate, Black Cherry, Sage
Story: Bolivia is South America's only landlocked coffee producing country and is the smallest exporter of coffee on the continent. The quality of that coffee, however, is hardly lacking in diversity or beauty. Bolivia’s terrain and geography is gifted for arabica production, particularly throughout its greater Yungas region, whose mountain ranges connect the low and humid Amazonian basin to the dry Andean altiplano above.
Cooperativa Agrícola Cafetalera San Juan (San Juan) was formed in 1974 with 40 farmer members across Caranaví united in the goal of supporting small family farms and organic, chemical-free methods. In 2017 Felix Chambi Garcia joined the organization, bringing with him over 16 years of specialty experience as a cupper and member of various other Bolivian cooperatives. Since then, the coop’s total production, overall quality, and diversity of coffees has all increased significantly. San Juan relies on individual farmers to process their own coffee. Felix has made quality control central to the coop’s operations, and his lab in Alto Cochabamba serves as the central control point for all lot building and exportation.
Biodiversity, soil health, elevation, and progressive leadership in San Juan all work undeniably in favor of small farmers seeking sustainable livelihoods with coffee. Yet, facing each and every Bolivian coffee, especially the best ones, is one of the most strenuous overland transits in the coffee world, passing elevations of 4000 meters over the top of the Andes and west to the port of Arica on Chile’s coast. The country’s low production, select few producer groups in the specialty game, and formidable logistical challenges, means each successful arrival is something to be cherished.