A few years ago 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 this coffee came from just one producer in the area, whose name is Vincent Paye. That year I 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. Its steep slopes and valleys provide excellent conditions for growing specialty coffee and supporting a diverse range of native flora and fauna. It has rich volcanic soils and regular rainfall.
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, and they benefit from an average annual temperature between 15 and 26°C. This lot comes from a farm matching these criteria, and it's at around 1,550 m.a.s.l. These traditional farms use no chemicals or pesticides and are certified organic, although we do not hold an organic certification.
The main harvest runs from May to September, peaking around July and August. The cherries are handpicked only when fully ripe, and they're then delivered to the central mill, called Buena Vista, where they are fully washed.
Bolivia is a challenge 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 with his family, and increasing his yield – and also the quality of his coffee.
In the cup this coffee is instantly all about melted milk chocolate, but you can also expect to enjoy notes of caramel and toasted pine nut, before it finishes with a lemon like acidity.
- Country: Bolivia
- Region: Yungas
- Municipality: Caranavi
- Town: Copacabana
- Farm: Vincent Paye
- Altitude: 1,550 m.a.s.l.
- Owner: Vincent Paye
- Varietal: Red & Yellow Caturra & Catuai
- Processing: Washed
- Washing: Manual
- Fermentation: Yes (18 hours)
- Drying method: Stationary dryer (71 hours)
Cupping notes: Melted milk chocolate, caramel, toasted pine nut, lemon.
- Clean cup: (1–8): 6
- Sweetness: (1–8): 7
- Acidity: (1–8): 6
- Mouthfeel: (1–8): 6.5
- Flavour: (1–8): 6.5
- Aftertaste: (1–8): 6.5
- Balance: (1–8): 6.5
- Overall: (1–8): 7
Correction: (+36): +36
Total: (max. 100): 88
Roasting Information: Medium dark - just to the first pops of second crack and drop, no more.
"Quick Look" Guide: Melted milk chocolate, caramel, toasted pine nut, lemon.