Initially Feliciano rented a coffee farm for two years where he began his education in coffee, but also began saving to have his own farm. After two years, he bought a farm of around 10 hectares. Like many farms in Bolivia, it doesn’t have a name, but is in the Loayza municipality and so it is known as Finca Loayza Feliciano Ramos.
The farm is located on top of a small mountain, looking out towards the high snowy peaks of the Andes. The farm only had 2 hectares of old coffee plantations. Feliciano has continued to raise this number whenever he is able to by planting new stock, selecting different varietals according to the terrain.
Feliciano is married to Tomasa Condori and they have 5 children who are all of school age, but they help their parents with the farm after school. The coffee is the only source of money for the family, and it is very important that they continue to produce great coffee.
In the region of Caranavi and the Yungas valleys there is a serious problem of coffee being ripped out and coca leaf planted (which is legal in Bolivia), but this has a big environmental impact on the soil, forests, and the communities.
However, coffee is seen as a good alternative to this if good prices can be achieved with it, and it is also much kinder to the environment. With this in mind, Feliciano is in his second year of being organic certified, although we chose not to take the certification.
This coffee is sold as a washed coffee, and I guess it is. Washed coffee is normally placed in a fermentation tank to remove the sticky layer on the outside of the seed after removing the fruit. This coffee has been dry fermented, then it has been through a pulping machine a second time using the scrubber part of the pulper, then finally left to dry like a pulped natural would be, just without most of the mucilage. It’s a hybrid process, and I really like the final result.
In the cup, this was a tough one to nail. It’s very complex and has lots going on. Think of it like two cups. When warm it’s all acidity, with loads of cherry; think cherry cola, key lime pie with biscuit sweetness, mixed in with a dark chocolate after-taste. But as it cools think caramel, increased sweetness, and delicious mouth-feel.
Farm: Finca Loayza
Farmer: Feliciano Ramos Aruquipa
Region: Franja se los Yungas
Farm size: 10.00 Hectares
Coffee growing area: 8.00 Hectares
Altitude: 1635 masl
Variety: Caturra (20%); Catuai (40%); Tipica (40%)
Type of soil: clay
Type of shade: orange, mandarin, and Inga (Sinquili) trees
Processing system: on-site wet processing, solar drying