Please Note This coffee landed more than 8 months ago.
Out of stock
Rodriguez Family Farms
1500 - 1850 masl
Caturra, Java, SL-34
Samaipata, Santa Cruz department, Bolivia
June - November
Roasters fall into two categories when it comes to Boliva's coffee: those that know, and those that don't know. For those who know, Agricafe is one of the most sought-after producer groups not just in Bolivia, but in all of South America, and buyers line up every year for their one-of-a-kind microlots. For those who don't know, it is often the cup qualities—diverse, fascinating, unexpectedly delicious—that grab their attention for life.
This year in addition to our regular direct trade imports we have curated a group of microlots from Agricafe's close-knit farm network for our own inventory. This lot is a blend of naturals from the Rodriguez family's 4 farms in the Samaipata area. It is a light, clean, and juicy natural with a perfumey fragrance and flavors of apple candy, taffy, and mandarin orange.
Agricafe and the Rodriguez Family
Specialty groups like Agricafe deserve a lot of credit for their dedication to Bolivia's coffee potential, despite the odds. Agricafe was established in 1986 as a passion project by Pedro Rodriguez, who at that time was a banker whose love for coffee led him to start a small commercial grade exporting business. In 2012, 26 years later, Rodriguez acquired land of his own in Caranavi. This part of Bolivia had for decades been populated with indigenous smallholder coffee farmers, but after suffering multiple waves of disinvestment by the government the population was shrinking, and coffee in particular was close to extinction. Rodriguez’s original farm, “La Linda”, was meant to take advantage of affordable land in the area and to demonstrate to local smallholders how productivity could be increased for their benefit. Now, 10 years after La Linda was built, the family business includes 12 family farms between Caranavi and Samaipata, to the south, and a group of 100 smallholders who together comprise Agricafe’s “Sol de la Mañana” program. Pedro’s daughter Daniela and son Pedro Pablo are also part of the business, managing commercial operations and farmer training.
The Rodriguez family's Samaipata farms are some of the region's first coffee plantations. Samaipata and the greater Santa Cruz department are well-known for wine production, and for a cosmopolitanism not shared by the more austere cultures of La Paz and the heavily-indigenous Yungas regions. The family farms reach higher altitudes here than in Caranavi and are less humid with less rainfall, making processing a more predictable affair.
Central Processing at Agricafe
All coffee from Rodriguez family farms is processed centrally at Agricafe’s wet mill Samaipata. Processing here has come to reflect the innovation and attention to detail that the Rodriguez family seems to exude against all odds for such a remote location. Cherry is collected each day at the farms and delivered to the wet mill in the evenings. Cherry is carefully sorted on arrival, and then, since every cherry delivery is treated as a unique microlot, it’s processed according to what Agricafe’s quality managers decide is the best pairing for a particular farm, cultivar, time of year, and in many cases buyer specification. Natural process coffees are washed and transferred immediately to a combination of covered raised beds and various types of mechanical dryers (Agricafe has a veritable collection of mechanical drying formats).
Agricafe produces washed, natural, honey, anaerobic natural, and experimental fermentations using coffee fermentation must, all in a very compact production space. A full harvest at Agricafe generates thousands of unique lots of coffee, which are then recombined by their cuppers or buyers to create larger lots, such as this one.