This is a traditional natural coffee from La Paz, Bolivia, produced by Jeivert Pañuni on his farm in partnership with his cooperative San Juan. This is the very first Crown Jewel we’ve released from the country of Bolivia.
The flavor profile is balanced and complex with notes of jasmine, chocolate, mild berries, and syrupy stone fruits like canned peaches.
Our roasters found its first crack somewhat soft and a little later than usual under certain roasting circumstances.
When brewed as a drip coffee this nuanced Bolivia is perhaps at its best, offering high extraction yields and showcasing a lively array of berry and floral notes in many shades.
Taste Analysis by Sandra Loofbourow
If you’ve read “The New Wave of Bolivian Coffee” on our blog, you may have realized how anxiously I’ve waited for these arrivals. I am thrilled to say that Jeivert Pañuni’s coffee exceeds expectations for this origin. Balanced, sweet, and complex, this natural presents plenty of jasmine florals, stone fruit syrupiness, a coating mouthfeel, and a pleasant astringency that ranges from almond toffee to black tea. As a pour over, its sugars ranged from milk chocolate and caramel to hints of blueberry and black berry. As an espresso I can imagine a thick and syrupy body, vanilla finish, and the of canned peaches shining through.
Source Analysis by Charlie Habegger
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 (Yungas is Aymara for “warm lands”), whose mountain ranges connect the low and humid Amazonian basin to the dry Andean altiplano above.
The most productive municipality in the Yungas is by far Caranavi, where 85-90% of Bolivia’s specialty coffee has continued to thrive over the decades. But coffee is produced throughout a very wide area of the greater Yungas territory in Bolivia, all of which shares the same steep, cloudy, rugged, and remote landscape as Caranavi. Coffee farms in this high and tropical climate tend to be well-managed but small, challenged by isolation and lacking in long-term industry support. Bolivian growers still often don’t have processing equipment or transportation of their own, a massive hurdle in such territory.
Cooperativa Agrícola Cafetalera San Juan (San Juan) was formed in 1974 with 40 farmer members across the greater Yungas region, united in the goal of supporting small family farms and organic, chemical-free methods. The cooperative started out strong; by the mid-2000s Bolivia was hosting annual Cup of Excellence competitions and there was a high level of international development interest in the Yungas coffee sector. However, productivity declined tremendously from 2006-2017 among cooperative members due to aging trees and falling investment. That year, 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. Felix sees himself as part of the younger, renewed generation of coffee lovers in Bolivia—including baristas and roasters—who are fortunate to be in a producing country with such high potential. This generation certainly believes there is a lot of ground to be covered.
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 control point for all lot building and exportation. The selection is rigorous: parchment lots that don’t make the minimum requirement are sold domestically, rather than marketed abroad. The careful quality control also makes it possible for individual farmers like Jeivert Pañuni, to get feedback on techniques employed at their farm, in order to help them develop individually.
This coffee is a naturally processed microlot from Jeivert Pañuni, a single farmer member of San Juan. Jeivert’s farm is south of Caranavi in the Irupana municipality. It is also hundreds of meters higher in elevation. Being so high, cherry maturation is slowed greatly, and his coffee trees tend to require an extra month or two of picking compared to farmers further down. This, despite having less overall shade on his farm than is typical for the region; in fact, none at all. Instead, the high and cloudy climate tempers the coffee’s exposure to the elements. Harvesting for naturals constitutes careful ripeness selection and hand picking, as well as drying on raised beds with constant scrutiny for imperfections among the cherry as it dries. The final profile is wonderfully rich and expressive of tropical fruit and sweetened condensed milk.
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. Particularly for microlots as unique as this one.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
Bolivian coffee is renowned for its elevation potential. Numerous farms in the country claim the distinction of “highest coffee farm in the world,” and indeed in the capital city of La Paz where much of the coffee is milled and stored prior to export sits at 4000+ masl. As a result, the country’s coffee has a reputation for high density and relatively low moisture content (the thinner air may contribute to bean dryness). This natural process coffee sacrifices a bit of the density but remains at a very stable and moderate moisture content and should prove easy to store as green coffee with little risk of flavor loss.
Some of the most popular arabica plants to cultivate in Bolivia tend to be so-called “longberries” like Javas and Typicas, and short-stature plants like the two we are presented here: Caturra and Catuaí. Caturra was discovered as a naturally occurring Bourbon mutation in Brazil nearly a century ago and has been used extensively since both as a favored plant for growing (more trees can be planted per hectare due to the compact size) as well as a genetic contribution to hybrid cultivars, such as Catimors and of course, Catuaí, whose other parent is Mundo Novo (a naturally occurring Brazilian Bourbon-Typica hybrid).
Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Candice Madison
Much like Evan, Bolivia is not an origin I have roasted more than once before. That feels like an odd sentence to type, as I have long associated the country, with esteem, as a home of great coffee. There’s always a sense of trepidation, heading to the roaster and having little to draw on by way of specific experience. It always takes a second, I think, for most roasters to remember that ‘you got this!’ And this coffee acts as a little cheerleader on that front.
As usual, I wanted to roast as soon as the coffee arrived, and didn’t wait for the specific green metrics, I decided to be judicious with my heat application, especially since this coffee is a natural. Time and experience have taught me that in the myriad ways that naturals can react in the roaster. The one general rule that has served me well, is to treat them with a gentle gas up front, and keep observing after that, they can lose their moisture and density quickly and you can lose control of the roast – especially post-crack – just as easily.
I started with about 30% gas application for my four-pound batch at 370F charge temperature. I have been starting most coffees at higher initial temperatures, however, as this coffee processing may have left it vulnerable to scorching, I felt a lower temperature was warranted. Now, although I wanted to be careful with the way I applied heat to the bean at first, I still wanted to ensure that the coffee was pressed through the drying stage quickly, to make sure I had enough time to develop the sugars during stage 2, the Maillard stage. Therefore, I opened the air up 100%, to take advantage of as much convective heat as possible during this stage of the roast.
Keeping the air at 100%, I turned the gas up to 90% at the turning point, allowing the maximum amount of heat I intended to apply to the roast to enter the drum. I started to turn the gas down relatively quickly after that, whilst keeping an eye on the rate of rise/change. First to 75% at around 250F, then to 50% at the advent of stage 2, at around 295F, having turned the air down to 50% between those two changes.
At around 330F, I opened the air 100%. At this stage of the roast on my particular machine/set-up, this action actually causes the roast to slow down. Turning the gas down and opening up the airflow had the intended effect and allowed me to lengthen the Maillard stage significantly. So much so, that between this coffee’s innate characteristics and my profile, this was one of my longest roasts on this machine, at over 10 minutes.
Not knowing when first crack would arrive, but anticipating its arrival, I turned the gas down to the minimum, 20%, at 370F. First crack of this coffee is really quiet. I actually had to take the trier out – which is unusual for me! – to observe it, as I wasn’t sure I was hearing it! Luckily, I was able to catch first crack at 393F, looking at the exhaust thermocouple readout and observing some of the beans in real time.
My chart has the development of this coffee at around 12% – in fact, that was an app user error! I cut the chart, when trying to save the roast, so I actually roasted for about 10 more seconds than is recorded, with the end of roast being 402.9F.
It must be said – this was an easy roast. The coffee responded well to the heat uptake and also to adjustments made. Although first crack was really quiet at first, it picked up and was an audible data point. I would say, for my experience, the only thing that stood out was the length of the roast. But even that was merely an anecdotal observation, nothing necessarily worth considering too hard.
In the cup, the black tea quality of the mouthfeel translated, as it cooled, to a delicious lactic/creamy oolong. The body, juicy, and yet light, was an appropriate vehicle for the complex flavor profile of cocoa nibs and toasted hazelnuts, with notes of deep plum, brightened by a starfruit acidity and sweetened as if with simple syrup. A delicious, auspicious and yet very approachable start to our Bolivian offerings this year. I can’t wait for more!
Quest M3s Analysis by Evan Gilman
Unless otherwise noted, I follow a set standard of operations for all my Quest roasts. Generally, I’ll allow the machine to warm up for 15 minutes until my environmental temperature reading is at least 250F, weigh out 150g batch size, and begin roasting when I’ve reached my desired charge temperature. Read my initial post here and my updated post here.
This may be only the second Bolivian coffee I have roasted and I wanted to do it justice, especially considering the incredible journey it has taken to get to us. While this coffee has a unique story, roasting it was a comparatively easy experience, even for a natural process coffee.
I started the roast of this coffee at my usual 10A heat application, but with airflow set to minimum. I really wanted to get this dense coffee through the drying stage as quickly as possible. I only engaged fan to 3 at 280F / 3:30, and reduced heat shortly afterwards to 5A at 310F / 4:15. When this initial move didn’t immediately reduce the speed of the roast, I introduced fan to full at 320F / 4:30. This had the desired effect of reducing my rate of rise gently into Maillard. I kept these settings all the way until crack, where I cut heat application entirely. This coffee coasted through post-crack development, and I was able to achieve an 11.1% post-crack development without passing 395F, and with this coffee spending most of its time (46%) in Maillard, my true goal.
Definitely clean out your chaff collector after roasting this coffee. You’ll notice quite the buildup, and you want to make sure you have plenty of airflow for your next roast, and no roaster fires to deal with!
While the fruit aromatics came through headily from the green coffee, the cup was much more subtle. Sweet and heavy, this coffee has a texture like a hot fudge sundae with gentle malic acid providing a balance for all that sugar. In my roast, I got a touch of black cherry and plum, with the peach note my comrades mentioned coming in gently once the cup cooled. It can’t be said enough that while this coffee is ridiculously sweet, the texture is uncommonly pleasing as well.
I would gladly drink this coffee in any preparation, but having tasted it in a few different iterations of filter drip, that’s the method I’d suggest first of all. The aforementioned texture would be incredibly pleasing as an espresso, too, but the rarity of this coffee might preclude using this coffee in espresso service. Honestly, this is a very flexible coffee, and you’re going to have a good time no matter how you brew it!
Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Nate Lumpkin
As of September 2020 we are running all Crown Jewel Analysis roasts on an Ikawa Pro V3, using the most recent app and firmware version on “closed loop” setting.
Our hot and fast standard profile produced a lovely cup, with bright tropical and dark chocolate notes. I tasted passionfruit and guava, a sweet hibiscus florality, and an 80% dark chocolate bass note. It had a syrupy body, and its flavors were clean and quick. I really liked the results of this profile. I imagine this coffee’s acids really benefit from high heat and a shorter development time.
Our longer Maillard profile produced a heavier, more sugars-forward cup, just as you would expect for a profile like this. Strangely, it cracked very late in the roast, allowing for only twenty-one seconds of development. In the cup I tasted passionfruit and raspberry syrup, dark chocolate cake, and a heavy body. I found it a touch too sour and astringent. Similarly, our long, low heat profile produced a cup that was a touch too muted, with a sour candy acidity, a flavor like blue raspberry, and a thin body. As a result, I really recommend a hot and fast profile, like in Roast 1.
You can download the profile to your Ikawa Pro app here:
Roast 1: Crown Standard SR 1.0
Roast 2: Crown Maillard +30 SR 1.0
Roast 3: Crown 7m SR LowAF 2
Brew Analysis by Elise Becker
This delightful Crown Jewel is the first Bolivian coffee I’ve had the pleasure of brewing as a single origin for service on our bar at The Crown, and it was a very pleasant surprise! I pulled out the Kalita and V60 for side-by-side comparison brews of the coffee brewed with flat bottom and conical drippers, with perceptible differences between the two.
The Kalita featured a sweet, buttery cup bursting with tropical fruit, ripe peach, and apple. Balance for this sugary cup came in the form of a clear vanilla florality, fresh tobacco, and cocoa nib. The v60 by contrast was a juicier and more berry-forward brew, featuring blackberry jam, blueberry, and canned peach alongside creamy milk chocolate, brown sugar, and a lingering impression of sweet, white florals.